Police say drug deal led to killing man sought

Baltimore resident hit by gunfire while parked on quiet Glen Burnie street

September 17, 1998|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

A 25-year-old Baltimore man was shot to death Tuesday night in a quiet Glen Burnie neighborhood in what police said was a drug deal gone bad.

The drug dealer drew a handgun, asked Howard Westley Anthony Jr. of the 4000 block of Clare Way to hand over his money, then shot him several times, police said.

Anthony died at Harbor Hospital Center in Baltimore at 11: 30 p.m. Tuesday, said police spokeswoman Carol Frye.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Leshon Clifton Ruffin, 21, of the 6400 block of Lamplighter Ridge in Glen Burnie, charging him with first-degree murder and use of a handgun in commission of a felony.

Frye said Anthony had told a friend, whom police would not identify, Tuesday that he wanted to buy drugs and that he didn't care what kind. The friend told police that he set up a time for Anthony to meet a drug dealer in the 6400 block of Colonial Knoll in Glen Burnie, Frye said.

When the friend and Anthony arrived, a man got into the back seat of their car to negotiate the deal, Frye said. The man saw their money and got out of the parked car as if to get the drugs, Frye said.

He "takes a couple of steps, turns around and produces a handgun and demands the money," Frye said. Anthony threw an envelope out the window at the man, who shot Anthony, she said.

Frye would not say how many times Anthony was shot. His friend was not injured, she said.

"We just can't believe it happened," said Philip Mallon, 24, Anthony's brother.

Mallon said Anthony, who made pizza at a Pizza City USA shop in Baltimore, told family members Tuesday that he was going to meet his girlfriend, who lives near the scene of the shooting. When he came home from work to shower that night, a friend waited in a car outside, Mallon said.

He said the family had noticed Anthony acting "funny" in recent months. "He would come home really late at night, stay up all night and then go back out," Mallon said. "I tried helping him. I offered him a job."

At Ruffin's home, a few blocks from the shooting, a woman who identified herself as the suspect's mother refused to comment.

Police said Ruffin hangs around South Baltimore and the Heritage Hill section of Glen Burnie, where the shooting occurred.

"I'm very shocked about it," said Norman Holland, 33, whose family lives a few doors from where Anthony was shot on a quiet, dead-end street.

"I've lived here almost four years now, and this is the first time something like this has happened. I've never seen any kind of selling or buying [drugs] up and down this street."

Michael and Jackie Helmick, who live on the street, said that in the past six months, they have seen strangers who they suspect are drug dealers regularly parking on their block late at night.

"They'll park, and they're always on the cell phone talking to someone," said Jackie Helmick, 36. "And there's a constant flow of traffic coming in and out of the neighborhood."

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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