The news that a man was shot Sunday after he left a bar in Canton has shocked a community whose nightlife attracts thousands of young professionals on weekends, and has prompted a series of "warning" e-mails that circulated in the neighborhood yesterday.
John G. McCarthy, 30, a financial planner who lives on Boston Street, was trying to prevent an armed robber from stealing a friend's purse and was shot once in the abdomen, according to police.
McCarthy was in good condition last night at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, police said.
"Everyone's freaked out," said Frank Groves, who lives and works in the Southeast Baltimore neighborhood and knows the victims. "People are talking about getting guns."
According to police, McCarthy and two friends had left a bar in O'Donnell Square about 2 a.m. and were in the 2900 block of Elliott St., a block away, when they were confronted by two males, one of whom brandished a small handgun.
One of the assailants grabbed the purse of McCarthy's friend and she resisted, police said. During the struggle for the purse, police said, McCarthy yelled, "Hey, what are you doing?" and was shot in the abdomen.
Police said the suspects are in their late teens and wore bomber-style Ravens jackets.
Friends of the victims said one assailant had two purses on his shoulder when he approached them.
Yesterday, several e-mails circulated throughout Canton, warning residents and visitors not to carry purses or anything valuable while walking in the neighborhood at night.
"I think we consider Canton to be one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. It's shocking to learn about this," said Kim W. Stallwood, president of the Canton Community Association. "The reality is we live in the city, and whether you live in the city or suburbs, there is crime. We have to be vigilant about learning how to prevent crime from happening."
Community leaders are working to set up a meeting with police and residents. They said they will ask businesses to hire security guards to help protect weekend crowds.