3 people shot one is dead

January 03, 1994|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

Three people were shot, one of them fatally, last night as a gunman ran after a car, spraying it with bullets from a semiautomatic weapon at North and Greenmount avenues.

The killing was the third homicide in two days. It continued a bloody start to 1994 on the heels of Baltimore's deadliest year, with a record 354 people meeting violent deaths.

Officers still were searching yesterday for the killer of a 45-year-old Irvington grandmother, one of two people shot dead on Saturday.

At the intersection of North and Greenmount last night, a gunman fired more than a dozen shots at a car occupied by three men, killing one of them and wounding the other two.

The names of the victims were not released, and police knew of no motive for the shootings.

Police said the wounded driver turned east on North Avenue and drove to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where one of the occupants died and the others were admitted. One was listed in serious condition, and the other was described as stable.

Police said one of the men in the car was carrying a large-caliber handgun but apparently did not have a chance to use it. The gun, a semiautomatic, was in the man's lap when the car arrived at the hospital.

Police said two men on foot chased the car as it headed south in the 2000 block of Greenmount Ave. shortly after 9 p.m. At least one of them had a semiautomatic weapon and opened fire.

The gunman and his accomplice got into a blue Honda, which last was seen heading west on North Avenue, police said.

At the scene, police recovered at least 13 shell casings on the pavement in front of the Bacchus liquor store, on the northeast corner of the intersection, which was crowded with bystanders when the shooting occurred.

On New Year's Day, two people were killed in unrelated shootings -- John Matthews, 52, who was shot about 2:15 p.m. in front of his home in the 1300 block of Edmondson Ave., and Beverly Royster of Irvington, who died in a spray of gunfire as she sat in a car with her 7-year-old grandson.

No arrest was recorded in either case.

Neighbors of Mrs. Royster expressed shock at the daylight attack in which she was killed.

Investigators said Mrs. Royster apparently was hit by one of at least 20 bullets, but that the intended target may have been her 25-year-old son who survived with a leg wound. The grandson was unhurt.

The attack occurred about 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Woodington Gardens Apartment complex, in a usually quiet Southwest Baltimore neighborhood, as Mrs. Royster sat with her grandson in her 1988 Oldsmobile in the 100 block of Diener Place.

The son, Robert Royster, was standing outside the car when several men began shooting at him, city police said. He was hit once in the leg as he ran toward the car and was listed in good condition yesterday at St. Agnes Hospital.

But Mrs. Royster was dead at the scene -- hit in the back by the gunfire that shattered her car's rear window.

"We're still in shock," said Olivia Kelly, who lived next door to Mrs. Royster. "It's unbelievable . . . She was a sweet person. She didn't deserve that."

"I've never heard of anything like that happening before here," said neighborhood resident, who asked not to be identified. "I can't believe it. I'm still sick over it."

Police said they were looking for a 22-year-old Baltimore man for questioning. The man, identified as Kendrick Jenifer, was seen driving away from the shooting scene Saturday in a charcoal gray 1990 Infiniti with Maryland tags AWH-924, said Agent Doug Price, a city police spokesman.

Several men were seen getting into the car just after the shooting, Agent Price said.

Mrs. Royster's "car was peppered with bullets," Agent Price said. "Clearly, the son was the intended target. . . . . Beverly Royster was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Anyone with information in the slayings was asked to call homicide detectives at 396-2100.

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