Two killed, one hurt in pre-dawn shooting Police say attack near Lexington Market is first in area since Aug.

November 04, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Two young men were killed and a third was wounded early yesterday near Lexington Market, the first violent act since August at what has been a troublesome pre-dawn gathering place for teens and young adults.

Police called the triple shooting that occurred about 3 a.m. at North Howard and West Saratoga streets an aberration. They said the normal Sunday and Monday gatherings of thousands of people in the area have dissipated in the past several months.

People for years lined Howard and Eutaw streets as young men paraded pricey cars, circling the blocks for hours. Dubbed by police the "Car Show," the display snarled traffic, creating gridlock between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

But it also sparked violence. In the past several years, shootings and homicides were reported, prompting the City Council last spring to pass an "anti-cruising" bill to help police shut down the twice-weekly event.

Enforcement difficult

But Maj. Steven E. McMahon, commander of the Central District, said it has been difficult to enforce the law, which took effect Aug. 1, because most of the signs prohibiting parking and warning drivers that it is illegal to circle a block more than once have not been put up.

McMahon has assigned six officers to the four-block area around Lexington Market as part of a yearlong initiative. Since January, the officers have made 34 drug arrests, recovered 15 stolen cars, confiscated 24 handguns and written nearly 1,500 parking and moving citations.

There also have been five shootings -- the last one before yesterday's occurred in early August. Since then, McMahon said, it has been quiet. In a log book of "Car Show" activity, Lt. Tony Rodriquez noted "no car show" for early yesterday.

The shooting, McMahon said, "is a total aberration. When I got in this morning I couldn't believe it. We haven't had a shooting there in two months."

Homicide Detective Kirk Hastings said shortly before the shooting occurred, the victims were in a group of several men who were talking to a female near Crazy John's, an all-night carryout in the 300 block of W. Baltimore St. The three young men then drove off in a Mitsubishi Mirage.

At North Howard and West Saratoga streets, Hastings said, a gunman exited an unidentified car that stopped behind the Mirage and fired a volley of shots into the Mirage that hit the driver and the front- and rear-seat passengers. Hastings said it was not known if the assailant was one of the men in the group near the carryout.

Police said the driver, Corey Dyson, 19, of the first block of N. Lakewood Ave. was shot in the body, arms and head, and died at Johns Hopkins Hospital, as did the unidentified back-seat passenger. The front-seat passenger, Eric Christopher Bennett, 19, of West Baltimore was hit in the left leg and right hand and was treated at Hopkins and released, police said.

Victim drives to hospital

Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a police spokeswoman, said Bennett pushed the driver from behind the steering wheel after the shooting and drove the car across the city to the hospital.

Homicide detectives had not made any arrests yesterday, and police said the surviving victim has been unable to provide detailed information. A Mass Transit Administration officer sitting in his cruiser near the shooting and an off-duty city police officer working security at a nearby 7-Eleven heard the shots, but did not see the suspects.

Police said that because the "Car Show" was quiet yesterday, the task force was working on the lower end of Howard and Eutaw streets, at a post-game party for the Baltimore Ravens at a club on West Fayette Street.

Pub Date: 11/04/97

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