Baltimore man fatally shot at Villages of Tall Trees apartments

County plans to raze crime-troubled complex

June 01, 2000|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

A 34-year-old Southeast Baltimore man was fatally shot early yesterday in the Villages of Tall Trees, an apartment complex that Baltimore County plans to demolish.

Police received a call about 1 a.m. from a resident of the 1600 block of Rickenbacker Road who reported hearing a gunshot.

The man was found slouched against a tree not far from Dori Smith's ground-floor bedroom window. Smith, 22, said she did not hear anything before the shot rang out.

When she looked outside, she said, she saw a man holding his stomach and leaning against the tree. Another man was standing over him, trying to stop the bleeding.

"The other man kept saying, `I told you not to pull out your wallet. I told you not to pull out your wallet,' " Smith said.

"We hear shots all the time, but I never saw someone die. I couldn't sleep at all. Every time I closed my eyes, all I could picture was him lying there," Smith said.

Baltimore County police said the man died at the scene. Police had not made any arrests in the case yesterday, and they did not release the victim's name, saying his next of kin had not been notified.

The shooting was Baltimore County's 12th homicide this year.

Tall Trees, on the county's east side, has been the scene of various crimes, particularly drug trafficking, in recent years.

There have been at least two shootings, one of them fatal, in the block where yesterday's shooting occurred.

The county intends to demolish Tall Trees to make way for a park as part of a redevelopment plan for the area. The plan will displace hundreds of people as property owners sell the apartment buildings.

Residents have begun to leave, and those who remain know they will soon need to find places to live.

"It is going to get a lot worse. There is more stress around here. People don't know where to go to," said Clevia White, 38, who has lived in the 1600 block of Rickenbacker Road for two years. "People are using these [abandoned] places as crack houses."

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