Police say teen fatally shot while attempting holdup

February 05, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A 16-year-old boy killed last month in what police initially thought was a robbery was a bandit himself -- accidentally shot in the chest as he and his partner tried to hold up someone else, police said yesterday.

Corey Velshone Armstrong, 17, a next-door neighbor of the victim in the 500 block of Winston Ave., was arrested at home and charged as an adult yesterday with first-degree murder and handgun violations in the death of the 16-year-old.

At first, detectives thought the dead youth, Kevin Ruff, had been a victim of an armed robbery. Ruff was found shot in the chest Jan. 25, lying in the 5800 block of Hillen Road in Northeast Baltimore.

The Saturday night shooting came amid a violent period in which eight people were slain in six days, including two Korean merchants shot during robberies and a man fatally wounded during an argument about basketball.

Homicide Detective Albert Marcus said Armstrong and Ruff had been close friends and neighbors. He said the teen-agers are suspected in several street holdups in Northeast Baltimore.

Marcus said that about 8: 10 p.m. Jan. 25, two teens tried to hold up three people on Hillen Road at gunpoint. Two of the intended victims ran, but a third man stayed behind and fought with Ruff as another youth trained his gun on the victim.

"Ruff was grabbed by one of the victims," Marcus said. A youth "tried to shoot the victim, but he accidentally shot his holdup partner. As Ruff was lying on the pavement dying, Armstrong took his gun and tried to make it look like a robbery," Marcus said.

Armstrong has had another run-in with the adult criminal justice system. When he was 16, he was charged with assault with intent to murder. He was found guilty of discharging a firearm and reckless endangerment and received a two-year suspended sentence.

Pub Date: 2/05/97

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