Boy, 15, shot to death in E. Baltimore

January 05, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A 15-year-old boy being sought for handgun violations was gunned down last night in a crime-ridden East Baltimore neighborhood, the victim of a jealous man who saw him talking to his former girlfriend, homicide detectives said.

The victim -- whose name wasn't released pending notification of relatives -- was shot several times in the legs and chest about 5:50 p.m. in the 900 block of Valley St.

He died on the sidewalk in front of a trash bin bearing the hand-scrawled words, "Death Valley," the name residents of the neighborhood have given to the high-crime area.

Police said the boy had gone to the neighborhood to visit relatives and was standing on the street talking to his 19-year-old girlfriend. At that point, the woman's former boyfriend saw her and "became irritated" that she was talking to someone else, said Detective D. Martin Disney of the homicide unit.

The former boyfriend -- who police believe is in his 20s -- pulled out a gun and repeatedly shot the 15-year-old, Detective Disney said.

The teen-ager collapsed in front of the trash bin area, which was littered with discarded Christmas trees. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the gunman fled on foot. Investigators said they expected to obtain a warrant today charging the man with first-degree murder. Police refused to identify the suspect last night.

The victim had been charged in a Dec. 22 warrant with use of a handgun in commission of a crime, with discharging a firearm and with battery, according to court records. Details of the incident leading to those charges were not available last night.

Police said they routinely get numerous calls for shootings along Valley Street and the surrounding neighborhood.

In November 1991, Valley Street drew publicity when bullets from a gunbattle tore through Johnston Square Elementary School in the 1100 block and sent teachers and 40 first-graders ducking under their desks.

Two months later, three teen-agers staked out the 1000 block of Valley St. -- a drug-trafficking area a few blocks from the Maryland Penitentiary -- for a robbery and ended up shooting 47-year-old Mary Mazu Jackson twice in the back. Mrs. Jackson died in an alley where the youths had forced her at gunpoint.

Last night's slaying was the city's fifth of the year, getting 1994 off to an even deadlier start than 1993, when Baltimore broke its homicide record. There were three murders in the first four days of 1993, police said.

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