Baltimore police give few details of double slaying

December 06, 1993|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

Baltimore homicide detectives were close-mouthed yesterday, trying to piece together details of execution-style shootings Saturday night that left two men dead and one critically injured in an apartment in a quiet part of Forest Park.

All three men had been tied with duct tape before being shot, police sources said.

Two of the men shot were cousins. One of them, the survivor, managed to crawl to a telephone and call police despite serious wounds. He was apparently under close police guard at an undisclosed location last night.

Police said they had no suspects in the shootings, which occurred at 6:40 p.m. Saturday in the second-floor apartment of a large frame house in the 3300 block of Powhatan Ave., near Lake Ashburton.

The dead men were identified as Keith Warren, 37, who lived in the apartment, and Terry Belin, 27, of the 4000 block of Bareva Road in the East Arlington neighborhood.

Mr. Warren was declared dead at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds, the State Medical Examiner's office reported.

Mr. Belin was pronounced dead upon his arrival at Sinai Hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.

The survivor, Bruce Belin, 33, of the 900 block of Walbrook Ave., was in critical condition yesterday, Homicide Det. Robert McAllister said. The nature of his wound remained unclear yesterday in official reports.

Detective McAllister said Bruce Belin was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center immediately after the shooting, but would not give the victim's whereabouts yesterday. A Shock Trauma spokesman said the survivor was not at the hospital.

"It's better that no one knows where he is," Det. Frederick Ceruti said. He was unwilling to elaborate.

Relatives of the Belins declined to comment yesterday.

Police were evasive in describing other circumstances surrounding the shootings, as well. Where the victims were found in the apartment, for example, remained unclear.

Sam Ringgold, a police spokesman, said yesterday that a motive for the shootings had not been determined. He said he did not know what kind of weapon was used in the assault.

Lou Pinkney, who lives two houses from the shooting scene, said he was inside his home reading when he heard three gunshots that reverberated down the street.

"First, I wasn't certain they were gunshots, but I walked out on the porch to see where the noise was coming from," Mr. Pinkney said, adding that he did not see anyone leaving the house.

Moments later, he said, he heard sirens from emergency vehicles racing to the scene.

He called the incident "a tragedy" on a street where people are not accustomed to violence, although some residents say shootings are commonplace just a few blocks away. He predicted the shootings will make residents more cautious.

The 3300 block of Powhatan has stately single-family houses, tall trees and manicured lawns. Most of the residents are homeowners, neighbors say, but some of the houses have been subdivided into apartments over the years.

Other neighbors expressed surprise that the incident had happened on their block, which is between Hilton Avenue and Denison Street and overlooks Lake Ashburton.

"I was devastated, really devastated," said Mimi Bennett, who lives across the street from the murder scene. "I was just sobbing, thinking how human beings were so off-base and suffering so much at one another's hands."

Mrs. Bennett, who moved into her home 10 years ago, said the neighborhood has maintained a neat appearance, but she expressed concern that violence was on the rise.

"I don't know what the future of the neighborhood is," she said. "I pray that whatever happens is positive."

Naomi Cunningham, who has lived on the block for 28 years, had trouble believing that a triple shooting could happen on the block, where neighbors look out for one another.

"Shocked. Shocked," Mrs. Cunningham said when asked her reaction to the shootings. She said people called her to talk about the shootings until 2 a.m. yesterday.

"We were saying, 'Oh, my God. It's happened here on Powhatan,' " she said. "Not that we think we're better than anyone else. It's just that we haven't had anything major like this."

Several residents, including neighbor Selby McDonald, said Mr. Warren kept to himself, but was a nice, quiet man who always spoke to his neighbors. She said she spoke to the man's aunt last night, but did not learn the motive for the shooting.

Men answered doorbells to two of the three apartments at the house where the shootings occurred, but they would not discuss them. "You've got to talk to the police," one said through the front window.

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