Man fatally shot in Cockeysville identified

Police suspect killing wasn't a random act

March 23, 2002|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police have identified the man who was fatally shot in his Cockeysville apartment Thursday night as the owner of a Baltimore recording company that specializes in hip-hop and rap music.

Vance Beasley, 32, of the 10400 block of Barretts Delight Drive was found dead of several gunshot wounds in the back room of his home, which he shared with his girlfriend and two children, 4 and 2 years old.

Court records show Beasley was convicted on drug possession and misdemeanor theft charges in the past.

"We are looking at several possible scenarios for a motive, several angles, but we cannot make them public because the investigation could be jeopardized," said police spokesman Cpl. Ron Brooks.

Brooks declined to comment on whether detectives found evidence such as spent shell casings or fingerprints.

Beasley is listed in state records as the head of Big League Recordings Inc., which has offices in Baltimore at 2125 Maryland Ave. and at 301 N. Front St., where a woman who declined to give her name said Beasley leased space.

Police say they suspect Beasley's killing was not a random act. It occurred in a peaceful rental complex, Barretts Delight, home to young professionals and retirees.

Police said three men either followed Beasley home Thursday about 8:30 p.m. or were waiting for him outside his first-floor apartment.

The three men -- two wearing black ski masks and one with his face concealed by a white bandanna -- forced Beasley into his apartment while his girlfriend, who was not identified by police, and the two children were inside.

The woman ran to another apartment to call police, but did not take the children.

The three intruders ransacked the apartment and forced Beasley into a back room where several gunshots were heard, police said. Beasley's body was found minutes later when police from the Cockeysville precinct arrived.

Neighbors said Beasley's killing came as a shock.

"We'd been neighbors for a couple of years, and he was always pleasant when we passed outside or saw each other in the hallway," said one resident, who asked that he not be identified.

"His girlfriend came over here hysterical Thursday night when he was shot," the neighbor said. "She did say they used force to get her boyfriend to comply, and she did run back immediately to get the kids after she notified 911."

Police said they believe that on the night he was killed, Beasley drove home in his 1996 Toyota 4-Runner. Anyone who saw suspicious men around the vehicle before the shooting is asked to contact police.

Lt. Martin Lurz of the Cockeysville precinct said yesterday that crime has dropped this year in some categories.

Burglaries are down 29 percent compared with last year, and auto theft has declined 3 percent. Robberies have increased 18 percent.

Lurz said that because of the high number of rental units in the south-central area of the precinct, "people will see a higher number of incidents due solely to the population density. We cover 200 square miles in this precinct and our 112 officers and commanders do a good job."

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