Homicide pace in city exceeds last year's

Eight killed between Friday and Monday

April 02, 2002|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A rash of homicides in recent days - including one sparked by an argument outside a downtown nightclub - has pushed Baltimore's yearly homicide toll above 2001's for the first time.

Police said they are deploying officers to neighborhoods where violence has flared in recent weeks to gather information and quell retaliation. They believe the killings are unrelated.

Eight people were killed between Friday and last night, and 12 have been killed in the past week. Through yesterday afternoon, 64 people had been killed since Jan. 1 - five more than last year during the same period.

The latest rash of killings began early Friday, when a utility worker found Stephen W. Francois, 41, dead in the 3800 block of Fords Lane. He was shot about 5:15 a.m. as he went to work, police said.

Kaquan Dominic Jenkins, 15, of the 3000 block of Walbrook Ave. was fatally shot shortly before 9 p.m. Friday after getting into an argument, police said.

On Saturday, a 19-year-old was shot and killed in a barbershop in the 400 block of W. Saratoga St.

The victim, Bernard Stephney, worked at the shop and exchanged words with a man outside the Tunnel nightclub in the 300 block of N. Eutaw St., said Maj. Laurie Zuromski of the homicide unit.

That person then followed Stephney to the barbershop and shot him about 2:30 a.m., Zuromski said.

The Tunnel nightclub has been a source of frustration for police. Last year, police linked several shootings to incidents that started at the club or outside its doors. Two people were stabbed inside the club in September.

The club's owner, Jay A. Benjamin, could not be reached yesterday for comment.

About 6 p.m. Saturday, police found the body of Jonathan Caldwell, 17, of the 3600 block of W. Rogers Ave. lying off the 3500 block of Fairfax Ave. in Leakin Park.

Three hours later, Eugene Jackson, 54, of no fixed address, was fatally shot near the intersection of Belmont Avenue and North Longwood Street in Rosemont.

About 10:45 p.m. Sunday, Dwyane L. Moore, 33, of the 1600 block of Pulaski Ave. was fatally stabbed in the 3600 block of Park Heights Ave. in a domestic dispute, police said.

His girlfriend, Marquerita Amaker, 41, of 3600 block of Park Heights Ave., has been charged with first-degree murder.

Two more homicides were reported last night. Police said Ray Troy, 49, of the 3000 block of McElderry St. was found stabbed in his home about 6 p.m. and died later at Johns Hopkins Hospital. An unidentified man, believed to be a city public school employee, was found beaten to death in his home in the 3100 block of Leighton Ave. shortly before 6 p.m.

Sun staff writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

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