Man killed after leaving Fells Point nightspot

Residents complain club is unable to control crowds

October 17, 2001|By Del Quentin Wilber | By Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A 32-year-old West Baltimore man was shot and killed early yesterday in Fells Point after he left a nightclub, sparking more concern from residents about potential violence connected to the area's nightlife.

Baltimore police said that Michael Lambirth of the 2800 block of Harlem Ave. was shot in the head as he walked in the 600 block of S. Broadway about 2 a.m. An officer heard the gunshot and found Lambirth lying at the corner of South Broadway and Aliceanna Street, police said.

Lambirth, who worked as a residential counselor at a group home in Baltimore County, had been at Fells Point Cafe/Club 723, said his sister, Michelle Lambirth-Hanna.

Police released few details yesterday about Lambirth's death. His relatives said they believed the motive might have been robbery or a random act. The killer took one of Lambirth's gold necklaces but did not take his wallet or ring, Lambirth-Hanna said.

Fells Point residents said that they have complained for years about crowds and violence spilling out of Club 723. They are particularly upset, they said, about crowds and noise associated with the club's "Hip-Hop" night on Mondays.

"They don't manage their crowds well," said Katy Greene-Davis, vice president of the Fells Point Homeowners Association.

A manager at Club 723, who refused to give his name, said residents were "complaining because it's mostly an African-American crowd on Monday nights and [they] don't want them in Fells Point." Thomas E. Ricks, who holds the club's liquor license, could not be reached for comment.

Residents said their concerns are not about race. "I don't care if they are black, white or pink," Greene-Davis said. "I don't like when they drive with the sound cranked up and it makes my house shake."

This is the first shooting in Fells Point this year, police said. During the same period last year, two nonfatal shootings occurred, police said. Police reported 29 aggravated assaults in the area this year, compared with 16 during the same period last year.

In May 2000, a 22-year-old Harford County man was stabbed in the neck and killed in the 700 block of S. Broadway during a fight as people spilled out of bars and nightclubs at 2 a.m.

Lambirth grew up in Baltimore and attended Job Corps program, Lambirth-Hanna said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Kevin Turner at 410-396-2100.

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