Judge's mother, 80, found slain in apartment Northwest killing latest incident in 2 days of city bloodshed

Children wounded

Mayor will meet with commissioner on violence surge

November 29, 1995|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers John Rivera, Dan Thanh Dang, Joe Mathews, JoAnna Daemmrich and Robert Hilson Jr. contributed to this article.

The 80-year-old mother of a District Court judge was found stabbed to death yesterday in her Northwest Baltimore apartment, the latest incident in a two-day surge of violence in the city that has left two other people deadmplex in the 7100 block of Park Heights Ave., was found lying on the floor by two maintenance men who had noticed her front door ajar.

Police released scant details of their intensive investigation, which began yesterday afternoon and continued into the night. The victim is the mother of Anne Arundel County District Judge Joseph P. Manck.

The slaying of Ms. Manck came during 28 hours of violent crime in which eight people were shot, including two 10-year-old boys who were wounded and a 19-year-old Morgan State University student who was killed.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said last night that he planned to meet as soon as possible with the police commissioner to discuss the spate of violence. As of yesterday, 293 people have been slain this year in Baltimore, 10 more than at this time last year.

"I'm very concerned about this rash of shootings in the city, particularly because the random nature of some of these shootings have wounded innocent children and placed many of our law-abiding citizens in fear of being harmed in their neighborhoods," the mayor said.

As with much of the violence in the city, law enforcement officials are placing much of the blame on teen-agers.

"Young people see living by the gun as their most promising career opportunity," said LaMont W. Flanagan, commissioner of the Baltimore City Detention Center. "And they kill as casually as adults order hamburgers."

Just how common the killings seem to be can be heard in the voices of those directly involved. Maj. Wendell M. France, commander of the homicide unit, attributes the violence to "another surge."

And the father of 10-year-old Robert Lucas, who was shot Monday while riding in the front seat of his mother's minivan, seemed all but resigned yesterday to the harsh consequences of city living.

"It's unfortunate that this had to happen, but that's life," said Earl Lucas, 32, who lives in Northwest Baltimore. "Most people in the city live normal lives. But some just pick up a gun and shoot. They don't care who they hit."

Police said Robert fell victim to a stray bullet fired about 5:45 p.m. by a man who was aiming at robbery victim Terrence Augusta McKoy, 19, a freshman at Morgan State University, who was hit by one of the bullets and died in the 4600 block of Hillen Road, at a bus stop across the street from the university.

Mr. McKoy was on his way to an apartment on Goodnow Road that he shared with other students. He lived in Temple Hills and had just returned to campus Monday morning after spending Thanksgiving with his family.

Police said a robber demanded money and property from Mr. McKoy and then opened fire, hitting him in the chest. The gunfire erupted just as Yolanda Lucas drove by in a minivan with her son Robert in the front seat.

They were headed for Robert's first tutoring class at Morgan State, which he needed to bring his grades up so that his `D parents would allow him to play basketball.

"He was just sitting there laughing and talking," Mrs. Lucas said. "I heard a pop. I thought there was something wrong with my car. Then he said, 'My legs hurt.' I pulled over. That's when reality sunk in. That was a gunshot."

The boy amazed his parents and hospital staff with his bravery. "He didn't cry," his mother recalled. "He said, 'Mom, calm down and take me to Johns Hopkins.' "

Robert was in fair condition yesterday and was expected to remain at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center for several days. Dr. Randall Wetzel said the bullet entered his right hip and passed through his intestines. After waking up from surgery, Robert looked up at his parents. "He smiled and said, 'I told you I'd be all right,' " they said.

About the same time Robert and Mr. McKoy were shot, five people across town in the 4700 block of Garrison Blvd. were hit by gunfire. The victims included a 10-year-old boy and his father, a 31-year-old man who was driving by and two others who were standing at a pay phone.

None of the injuries was life-threatening; the wounded child, Vernon Taylor, who lives in Northwest Baltimore, was in stable condition yesterday at Sinai Hospital. Police said he was shot twice in the leg and once in the abdomen.

Also Monday night, police said, Byran Hagans, 25, of the 1900 block of Primrose Ave. was fatally shot in the head about 11:15 lTC p.m. as he walked in the 100 block of N. Monroe St. Police said they had no suspects and knew of no motive.

Investigators also said they had no leads in yesterday's stabbing of Ms. Manck. A team of investigators spent several hours inside her second-floor apartment in the condominium complex.

Loraine Shuman, who lives on the third floor, said the light was on in the woman's apartment Monday night, and other neighbors said they saw Ms. Manck walk into her apartment about noon yesterday.

Mrs. Shuman, who has lived in the apartment building for 20 years, said she was "shocked" by the killing. "The security really works here," she said. "There's no way anyone could get in here without a key. Unless, of course, they were let in."

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