Robbery possible motive for shootings in Little Italy that left one man dead

February 06, 2003|By Laurie Willis and Richard Irwin | Laurie Willis and Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

Two men who were shot Tuesday in a Little Italy rowhouse might have been the victims of a botched robbery, police say.

Joseph Augustus Harrison Jr., 27, was fatally wounded in the shooting, which occurred about 3:30 p.m. in the 900 block of Eastern Ave. The other victim, Richard Featherstone, 18, was shot in the right leg and was hospitalized last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Both victims were found in Harrison's third-floor bedroom.

Harrison, a Polytechnic Institute graduate, had lived in the rowhouse for four years and occasionally worked construction jobs, said homicide Detective Chris Beiling. Featherstone lived in the home for 14 months and was a construction worker and a landscaper, Beiling said.

It appeared that only the victims were in the house at the time of the shootings, Beiling said. He said neither man had a criminal record and that police found no drugs or other suspicious items in the house.

Police said no evidence was found of a break-in.

Neighbors on either side of the rowhouse were not at home when the men were shot, Beiling said, adding that the killer could have left the house in a casual manner and not been noticed by anyone on the street.

Inside the rowhouse, which the men were renting, no signs were found of a struggle or fight, Beiling said. The assailant is thought to have entered through the front door, police said.

Beiling said it appeared someone entered the house looking for money but that he didn't know why that house was targeted.

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