Police charge man in deaths

Suspect arrested in shooting that killed onlooker

Teen-ager also died

Second gunman, who hasn't been identified, sought

September 19, 2001|By Del Quentin Wilber and Michael Scarcella | Del Quentin Wilber and Michael Scarcella,SUN STAFF

Police have arrested a 20-year-old West Baltimore man in the August killing of a father of three who was hit by an errant bullet that pierced his apartment's first-floor window.

Police said yesterday they arrested Tavon W. Mints of the 1700 block of W. Lexington St. Monday afternoon and have charged him with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Michael C. Hargrove, 30, and Kevin A. Pearson, a 19-year-old who was outside when the gunfire erupted.

Hargrove was hit in the chest by a bullet, apparently as he looked out his window. He died nearly instantly, while his two young daughters slept in a nearby room, police said.

Homicide Detective Randy Humes said yesterday that an incident led to the shooting. Two men drove up to a group of young people gathered on the curb in the 4900 block of Alson Drive in West Baltimore. The two groups exchanged words, Humes said, then the car drove away.

About an hour later, the two men in the car returned on foot and both opened fire on the group, which included Pearson. Humes said police believe the gunmen fired six shots into the group, but it is not clear whom they were targeting.

Pearson was hit once in the chest and ran several blocks before collapsing. He died about an hour later at St. Agnes HealthCare.

Humes said Pearson and the others in his group often hung out in the block and were eating Chinese food when the shooting occurred.

Humes said that witnesses identified Mints in a photo lineup. Detectives with the city's Warrant Apprehension Task Force arrested him Monday afternoon as he went to his job as a housekeeper at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Humes said.

Detectives are still seeking a second gunman whom they have not identified, Humes said.

Hargrove's widow, Angelina, 22, recently moved to South Carolina, where her mother lives, to escape the violence in Baltimore that took her husband's life, she said yesterday in a telephone interview.

She learned Monday that police had arrested a suspect in the case. "It's one less person to worry about on the street," she said.

Hargrove said she is still trying to sort through the killing.

"It was about foolishness that never should have happened," Hargrove said. "It could have been avoided without guns."

Her husband had been recuperating at home from recent knee surgery and was sitting on his couch, watching television just before he was shot, his family said.

He was staying up, waiting for Angelina to come home from her job at a nursing home. He leaves behind three daughters: Tanisha, 1; Sasha, 2; and Jessica, 7, from a previous marriage.

Hargrove grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Southwestern High School in 1988. Six years later, he joined Fire Mack Inc., a Jessup company that installs sprinkler systems in buildings. He had injured his knee on the job.

Pearson was going to be a senior at Francis M. Wood Alternative High School and was looking for a higher-paying job to help support his 11-month old daughter.

Police ask that anyone with information about the identity of the second gunman call Humes at 410-396-2100.

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