A dispute over a stolen jacket sparked a shooting early yesterday outside a downtown Baltimore convenience store that left a teen-ager and a young man critically wounded, city police said.
Michael Jason Wedington, 17, of the 400 block of Westhills Road in West Baltimore and Marcus Jefferson Waters, 20, of the 3600 block of Harlem Ave. in Baltimore were in critical condition yesterday afternoon at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Police said the shooting occurred about 2: 40 a.m. outside a 7-Eleven store in the 200 block of N. Eutaw St., near Saratoga Street.
Yesterday's gunfire marks the latest outbreak of violence along the Eutaw Street corridor, where 2,000 to 4,000 youths gather between midnight and 5 a.m. every Sunday and Monday morning to show off expensive cars.
Thousands of young men and teens turn the streets near Lexington Market into what one police officer called "Mardi Gras," with gridlock traffic, crowded sidewalks and a free-for-all of fist fights, drinking and revelry.
In May 1995, an 18-year-old honors senior from Walbrook High School was shot and killed during an argument near the market. In April of last year, a police officer shot a 15-year-old boy in the leg after the youth threatened him with a .357 Magnum handgun.
And two years ago, several violent incidents sparked concern. In one incident a dozen people opened fire into a crowd of 200 because, police said, "They just wanted to see people run."
Police were unable to estimate the size of yesterday's crowd on Eutaw Street, but said it was smaller than usual because of the cold weather. Authorities said yesterday's incident originated at Hammerjacks, a popular nightspot located south of Camden Yards.
Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a city police spokeswoman, said Wedington and Waters had been at Hammerjack's Sunday night and had a jacket stolen from their parked car.
About 2: 40 a.m. yesterday, they both stopped at the 7-Eleven on Eutaw Street, where Wedington saw someone wearing what he believed to be his jacket, Cooper said. Both victims confronted the man, who opened fire.
Police said they found Wedington lying in Eutaw Street suffering from gunshot wounds. Waters stumbled around the corner to the 400 block of Mulberry St., where he was found with a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Police had not made any arrests as of yesterday. The only description they had was of a male between 17 and 20 years old, wearing dark clothing, who drove away in a late-model, four-door car.