2 men shot fatally on street on west side

Killings precede police meetings with community

January 20, 2000|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Two men were shot and killed yesterday afternoon on a West Baltimore street, hours before top police commanders met with residents to hear their complaints and ideas to curb violence in the city.

The latest shootings, in the 1500 block of N. Mount St., brought the number of slayings this year to 19 -- a one-a-day homicide pace that has a new police leadership team determined to quickly implement its strategies.

"We are going to do something about it to make this city safer for everyone," Police Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel told 200 residents at Dunbar High School during the last of two forums sponsored by the City Council Public Safety Committee.

Daniel and his new deputy commissioners are promising department-wide reforms and assertive policing to restore order on city streets and duplicate decreases in crime seen in other cities such as New York, New Orleans and Boston.

People who attended last night's meeting complained of police abuse, open-air drug markets, inaction by politicians and neighborhood blight. Most wanted loiterers moved off corners and shootings to stop.

"You want to know what the problem is?" asked LaMont Mayes, president of the Shipley Hill Improvement Association in Southwest Baltimore. "You got your drugs and nobody is doing nothing about it. You got your murderers and nobody is doing nothing about it."

As applause rippled through the crowded auditorium, Mayes looked up at the stage where Daniel, his deputies and City Council members sat silently. "Talk is cheap," he shouted. "Do your job."

Hours earlier, about 2: 20 p.m., police were at the scene of the city's 18th and 19th killings this year, five blocks north of the Western District police station.

Maj. Kenneth Blackwell, the district commander, said two men who had argued with another man in the morning were shot in a barrage of gunfire. Thirteen bullet casings littered the middle of the 1500 block of Mount St. near Gilmor Homes public housing complex.

"This block is shot" was the statement written on a nearby wall.

Police last night had not identified the two victims -- one of whom was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man died at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Yesterday morning in Northeast Baltimore, a 34-year-old man warming up his car that was parked behind his house in the 4500 block of Northwood Drive was shot in both legs and the buttocks. Police said Edward Robinson was attacked as he sat in the driver's seat of his car about 9: 30 a.m. by four masked men who tried to rob him. Robinson was in critical condition at Hopkins.

Yesterday's violence followed the killings of three people and the wounding of another in two incidents Tuesday night.

Two men were killed in an incident on Lodestone Way in Northeast Baltimore shortly after 11 p.m. One was identified last night as Calvin Henderson, 22, of the 4000 block of Wilsby Ave. The other has not yet been identified.

A third victim was fatally shot about 6: 45 p.m. in front of his Reservoir Hill home in the 800 block of Newington Ave. He was identified as Damian Archer, 24.

Residents who met with police last night offered ideas that included more surveillance cameras on drug corners and more cooperation among law-enforcement agencies. Many complained that people arrested never seem to end up in jail.

Carolyn Boitnott of Southeast Baltimore said she knows a man who has been repeatedly arrested yet is back on her street, "attracting all sorts of drug activity." She said a police officer who responded to her complaint told her, "What do you expect? This is a bad area."

Sun staff writers Tim Craig and Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

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