Pair of slayings followed by third, possibly revenge

July 20, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A young man fatally shot yesterday morning in West Baltimore might have been killed because people thought he was responsible for a double slaying nine hours earlier, city police said.

But homicide detectives think that the assailant may have targeted the wrong man.

"It is very confusing," said Sgt. Mark Tomlin of the homicide unit.

Detectives investigating the killings still were trying last night to determine motives and find suspects. They were questioning two people who were in a car with the latest victim when he was shot.

The series of events began about 2 a.m. when two men were shot fatally in the 700 block of Poplar Grove St. The next killing occurred about 11 a.m. about three blocks away in the 2700 block of Harlem Ave.

Tomlin said the latest victim, who was about 18, had heard from neighborhood residents that he was considered a suspect in the double slaying. He confronted at least one of his accusers on Harlem Avenue from the passenger seat of a car in which he was riding with two other men.

"He was talking to somebody in reference to what happened last night," Tomlin said. "He told him, 'It wasn't me.' "

Police said that the victim was shot once in the back of the head and twice in the body. The driver of the car sped off and stopped in the 700 block of Poplar Grove St., near where the double slaying had occurred.

Tomlin said the victim died 20 minutes later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Detectives were questioning the other two occupants of the car.

He said investigators do not believe the victim shot the first two men. "But at least somebody thought he did,"

Pub Date: 7/20/96

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