1 killed, 8 hurt in city shootings

Police say 4 incidents in 5-hour span are apparently unrelated

May 26, 2004|By Ryan Davis | Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF

A Northeast Baltimore man playing video games with a group of people was shot in the back of the head and killed early yesterday, one of nine shootings during a night of violence in the city.

The victims were shot in four apparently unrelated incidents during a five-hour span that began about 12:20 a.m.

A suspect was charged last night in connection with the homicide, but no arrests were made in the other shootings.

James I. Moore, 46, of the 1600 block of Northwick Road was fatally shot during a triple shooting inside his home.

Vernon Moore, 50, the slain man's brother who also lives at the Northwick Road address, and a woman were wounded, police said.

A group was playing PlayStation video games in the Moore brothers' basement when one of the men pulled out a semiautomatic handgun, police said.

The gun fired, "possibly accidentally," said Sgt. Darryl Massey, a homicide detective. After Moore told the man he had been shot, an argument broke out.

The man shot Moore again, shot Moore's brother several times and shot the woman in the face before fleeing the brick rowhouse, Massey said.

When police arrived, they found the woman outside the rowhouse and the Moore brothers in the basement.

All three victims were taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where James Moore was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m., police said.

The woman, identified as Denitra Armstrong, 33, of the 500 block of E. 39th St., was listed in serious but stable condition yesterday. Vernon Moore was treated and released.

Charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and handgun offenses was Michael Distance, 25, who lives in the same block of Northwick Road, police said.

A second triple shooting occurred about 1:15 a.m. in West Baltimore. Three men in their mid-20s showed up at St. Agnes HealthCare after being shot in the 800 block of Allendale St., said Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman. They were all treated and released.

Samuel Green, 24, whose address police did not release, was shot in the back, Harris said.

Jacque Brown, 28, of the 9300 block of Tulsmere Road in Randallstown was shot in the right leg, Harris said. John Newby, 29, of the 800 block of Mount Holly St. was shot in the right arm.

About the same time, Shawn Chandler was shot in the leg as he was walking north in the 900 block of N. Carey St., also in West Baltimore.

Chandler, 24, of the 2200 block of Linden Ave. was listed in good condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, police said.

The other shootings reported yesterday occurred in West Baltimore about 5:20 a.m. Two males, ages 17 and 24, were shot near the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Ave. and sought treatment at University of Maryland Medical Center, police said. Police did not release their names.

One was shot in the left shoulder, the left armpit and the right foot, police said. The other was shot in the left thigh and the right ankle. They were listed in good condition, police said.

Despite the spate of violence, police spokesmen said yesterday that the city's violent crime barometer was showing a lower reading than last year.

There have been 104 homicides this year in the city, police said; at this point last year, there had been 113.

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