Police investigate first city slayings of the new year

January 07, 2001|By Jackie Powder and Maria Blackburn | Jackie Powder and Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

After going four days into the new year without a killing, Baltimore has recorded three homicides in the past two days.

Police said a 22-year-old East Baltimore man became the city's first homicide victim of 2001 when he was fatally shot Friday. Two other men were shot and killed in separate incidents yesterday.

Police said Charles H. Williams Jr. of the 800 block of Exeter Hall Ave. was shot several times in the 1700 block of N. Castle St., about 9 p.m. Friday. Paramedics took him to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died at 9:15 p.m.

The second homicide occurred yesterday about 1:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Harford Road. Police said Robert Anthony Bland, 37, of the 900 block of Bonaparte Ave. was shot several times before collapsing in the street. He was taken to Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Six hours later, officers were called to the 1100 block of N. Carey St. in West Baltimore where they found the body of an unidentified man in his 40s who had been shot once in the head. Police said the shooting may have been drug-related.

The city ended last year with fewer than 300 killings for the first time in more than a decade, recording 262 homicides last year, compared with 305 in 1999.

According to police, Friday night's killing marked the longest the city has gone without a homicide to start a year since 1996.

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