Shootings in city leave 2 dead, 12 wounded Violence concentrated in East Baltimore

June 14, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

City police expect to have a clearer idea today of what led to an outbreak of violence yesterday and Wednesday that left two people dead and a dozen others with gunshot wounds.

With many of the shootings concentrated in East Baltimore, detectives are investigating whether some of the incidents -- 13 shootings in nine hours -- are linked. Several suspects were being interviewed last night.

"When this thing flushes out, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they were all related," said Lt. John Tewey, head of the Violent Crimes Task Force. Police said the shootings could be linked to drugs.

Wednesday, one person was shot in Northeast Baltimore and two on the Westside. The other shootings occurred in Eastside neighborhoods in two violent spurts that began early Wednesday afternoon.

At 1: 45 p.m. Wednesday, a 35-year-old man was wounded in the 2200 block of Ashland Ave. At 3: 30 p.m., a 22-year-old man was killed on Orleans Street, two blocks from Johns Hopkins Hospital. And 90 minutes later, a 29-year-old man was killed in the 1400 block of E. Lanvale St.

At 10 p.m., four people were shot just north of Patterson Park. Less than 45 minutes later, three more were shot in the 700 block of Mura St.

Yesterday, someone opened fire on a rowhouse, grazing the head of a man leaning out of his second-floor window in the 700 block of N. Rose St.

Maj. Odis L. Sistrunk Jr., commander of the Eastern District, described Wednesday as his "nightmare. Every 15 minutes I got beeped, and I was told I had another death."

In a city where there were a record 353 homicides and 1,880 people shot in 1993, the shootings over the past two days have brought back memories of out-of-control violence. In the past two years, slayings and shootings have dropped significantly.

But during the first six months of this year, shootings and slayings are up. Since Jan. 1, there have been 148 homicides in Baltimore, up from 128 in the same period last year. The number of shooting victims has climbed to 561, up from 527 last year.

The shootings took a dramatic turn for Dr. Elizabeth Dreesen, an assistant professor of surgery who had just left Johns Hopkins Hospital Wednesday afternoon when she passed what she thought was a car accident at Orleans and North Caroline streets.

It turned out to be a shooting. Antwan Greer, 22, of the 500 block of N. Streeper St. had been shot three times as he sat in his Honda Accord and waited for a traffic light. The shooter sped off on a red bicycle. Greer hit the accelerator and crashed into a fence, police said.

Dreesen said she told herself, "I bet this is a trauma" as she pulled up to the ambulance and police cars. Hearing of the shooting, she said, "I made a U-turn and went back to the hospital."

She tried to save Greer's life at Hopkins, but the young man died of his wounds. "I went home and had a drink and felt sad," Dreesen said. "It makes me very sad how prevalent violence is for the people who live within a mile of my home or within blocks of where I work."

The other slaying Wednesday occurred about 5 p.m. on East Lanvale Street. Police said Nigel Fisher, 29, was found lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to the head.

All of the other victims were released from area hospitals or are in fair to good condition. Police said the two multiple shootings -- in the 700 block of Mura St. and the 400 block of N. Patterson Park Ave. -- were drive-bys from a small red car.

Yesterday's shooting on North Rose Street also might be connected, police said. Tactical officers raided a rowhouse near where the shooting occurred and took two young men into custody for questioning.

In one Westside shooting, police said, a man stole another man's handgun and shot him.

In Northeast Baltimore, they said, a man was shot by one of three teen-agers who robbed him of $20.

Dreesen said that at first, doctors become "awed" by the amount of violence on city streets. "Then we become angry about it," she said. "What are all these people doing shooting at each other?"

Pub Date: 6/14/96

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