Two dead, one injured in east-side shooting

Police seek suspect, motive in incident in Johnston Square

March 20, 2002|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

Gunfire erupted last night in the city's Johnston Square neighborhood, killing two people and leaving a third hospitalized in fair condition.

Identities of the victims - all male - and a motive for the triple shooting were not known as homicide detectives attempted to locate witnesses to the 9:15 p.m. violence and gather evidence.

A large wad of cash was recovered from one of the victims, police said.

Police Lt. Martinez Davenport, head of the Eastern District's drug enforcement unit, said the inner city area of the shootings - just west of the 1200 block of Greenmount Ave. - is known for heavy drug trafficking.

Officers at the scene said at least two males, one a juvenile, were standing outside a liquor store at the northwest corner of Biddle Street and Brentwood Avenue when someone shot each of them several times with a large-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

One of the victims was shot in the head, and another in the upper body. Several empty shell casings littered the pavement in front of the store.

Police said two of the victims were found outside the liquor store, Caprice Package Goods, and rushed to Johns Hopkins Hospital. One was pronounced dead there, and the other was in fair condition.

Officers found the third victim dead after following a trail of blood from the pavement outside the store north on Brentwood, and about 100 yards through an alley between Brentwood and Barclay Street.

The body was found at the end of the alley near a utility pole and a pile of debris, said Maj. Jeffrey Rosen.

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