Man becomes 4th person slain in 3 years at W. Baltimore corner

April 12, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

An unidentified man was fatally shot last night as he spoke on a telephone near Tiffany Square, the deadly West Baltimore corner named for a 6-year-old girl who was killed there by a stray bullet in a July 1991 shootout, police said.

The man was at least the fourth person slain at or near Tiffany Square -- at Rosedale Street and Bloomingdale Road -- in the past three years. Five others have been wounded by gunfire there.

Homicide Detective Marvin Sydnor said last night's shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. while the victim spoke on a telephone outside Grossman's Liquors, about 25 yards from the square.

No one has come forward as a witness in the crime, and it is not know how many people were involved in the shooting, Detective Sydnor said. The victim was able to run about a block north on Rosedale Street before collapsing in the 3000 block of W. North Ave., the detective said.

The man was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead, Detective Sydnor said. The victim is the city's 68th homicide victim this year, down from 96 at this time last year, police said.

Tiffany Square, a small, plain patch of grass in the middle of the intersection, was named for Tiffany Smith by city officials in hopes of inspiring the neighborhood. A garden was planted there in honor of the slain second-grader, but it has long since withered and died, broken bottles and other debris taking its place.

Tiffany had been playing on the street -- which police say is a notorious drug corner -- when she was fatally struck by a stray bullet from a gunfight.

"The bottom line is that despite all the pomp and circumstance that the city lavished on that corner when Tiffany Smith was killed, nothing has changed," said A. Robert Kaufman, a community activist who lives two blocks from the corner.

"These murders will continue until we take the profits out of drugs. I hear the gunshots several times a week in the evening. I saw two shootings outside my window in the last two years," Mr. Kaufman said. "How many deaths will it take before we get serious about this?"

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