Two men killed in afternoon shooting in front of West Baltimore rowhouse

Police lack suspects

neighborhood shaken

April 30, 2001|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

Two men were killed in a daytime shooting outside a West Baltimore rowhouse yesterday.

Details were sketchy last night, and police said they knew of no motive or suspects in the killings, which occurred about 1 p.m. in the 1800 block of Lauretta Ave.

Police responding to a 911 call of shots fired found the victims outside a two-story rowhouse with its basement window boarded up. Both were shot at least once in the head and were pronounced dead at the scene, said police spokeswoman Angelique Cook-Hayes.

The bodies of the victims, who were in their 20s, were taken to the state medical examiner's office for autopsies and identification, said Detective Gregory S. MacGillivary.

Jamila Henry, 24, who lives on the block where the shooting occurred, said she was preparing lunch for three of her four children when she heard a popping sound. "I told all of them, `Jump to the floor,'" she said. "I made sure everybody was OK, and then got up and looked outside, and I [saw] the bodies."

Henry said she recognized the victims, who she said frequently hung out in the neighborhood, but did not know them personally.

Across the street from the rowhouse, the sidewalk was marked with chalk circles where police found shell casings.

The shooting occurred on a block where more than half of the rowhouses are boarded up. Graffiti on several of the homes reads "RIP." Neighbors said the graffiti was there before the shooting.

"I guess they see boarded houses, they think they can do whatever it is their thing is," said a resident who declined to give her name.

Henry said shots also were fired on the street about 7 p.m. Saturday, though apparently no one was hurt. Like other residents, she complained that her children cannot play outside because of the threat of violence.

Rita Porter, 43, found the shooting upsetting because it reminded her of her 17-year-old son's death in 1996. She said he was killed by a gang in what was a case of mistaken identity.

"They forget about the mothers," she said. "It's a crying shame."

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