Annapolis man, 22, charged in fatal Fells Point shooting

Another man wounded as two groups scuffle

February 19, 2005|By Ryan Davis and Alec MacGillis | Ryan Davis and Alec MacGillis,SUN STAFF

Police charged an Annapolis man with murder yesterday after two men were shot, one fatally, early in the morning outside a well-known Fells Point strip club.

The shooting - which police think was sparked by a case of mistaken identity - occurred about 1:10 a.m. yesterday in the doorway of Ritz Cabaret, 504 S. Broadway, during a confrontation between a group of five men leaving the club and a group of three men entering it.

Police said someone - they didn't say in which group - thought he recognized an acquaintance in the other group and shouted the nickname of the man he thought he had seen. When the speaker realized he'd made a mistake, he apologized to the man he had addressed.

A brief fight ensued, police said, and when it was over, one of the men in the group leaving the club had shot two of the men entering it.

Pronounced dead at the scene was Craig R. Morris, 32, of Baltimore, police said.

Steven Kendall, 21, of Baltimore County was shot in the right thigh and taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was being treated yesterday for serious injuries but was expected to survive, police said.

Police said the five men in the group leaving the club sped east on Eastern Avenue in a silver BMW but were stopped short of Interstate 95 by two officers from the Southeastern District. Last night, police charged one of them, Teon Hall, 22, of Annapolis with first-degree murder.

Blood was smeared on the club's front door yesterday, and a broken window appeared to have been pierced by a bullet.

Maj. Richard C. Fahlteich, who oversees homicide detectives, said last night that the dispute was not related to the bar, which served as the backdrop for the fictional strip parlor Orlando's on HBO's television show The Wire.

"It has nothing to do with the bar," he said. "This simply had to do with an exchange of words that became heated and escalated into a fight."

The club advertises itself "The New Ritz Cabaret," and its Web site says, "Our club features Maryland's most beautiful girls, fully stocked premiums bars, multiple high definition plasma TVs, nightly specials, feature performers and a luxurious VIP bar and lounge."

Joseph J. Soltas, whose corporation holds the Ritz's liquor license, and other club officials could not be reached yesterday.

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