Nearly two years after a man suffered a fatal shot to the leg while walking down the street near his Dundalk home, police announced yesterday the arrest of two men in the killing.
Police said shots were fired Oct. 30, 2004, during a clash between a resident and area teenagers -- a dispute, they added, that had nothing to do with the 76-year-old victim.
George Linwood King, some who knew him said yesterday, did not deserve such a fate.
"He was the pillow, rock and glue of his family," said Courtney Speed, a beautician from Dundalk who said that she had known King since the 1960s. "I'm just thankful for the detectives and all those involved to bring this to some closure and that it didn't become a cold case."
Police said numerous interviews with witnesses and others led them to make arrests in King's death.
Jose Emmanuel Otero, 23, of the 1400 block of Broening Highway in Baltimore and Jose Antonio Bassat, 29, who is being held in the city detention center on an unrelated charge, are charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting, Baltimore County police said.
King, who lived in the Turners Station area, was shot about 8:15 p.m.
According to police and charging documents, Otero told authorities that he received a call from Bassat, who said his friends were having problems with some people in Turners Station.
The two men drove to Avondale Road in Dundalk. When the men arrived, the friend pointed to a group standing near the house. One of the men fired several shots from a handgun into the crowd, and the men drove off.
As they drove away, the man fired the gun through the vehicle's window at people on the street, where King, who lived on the same street, happened to be walking.
King bled extensively after being shot in the leg, and was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Police have identified Bassat as the shooter.
Otero was being held without bail at the county detention center, and Bassat remained in custody in Baltimore, police said.
At her salon, a few blocks from the shooting scene, Speed said that she and other community leaders organized a vigil last year on the anniversary of the shooting and plan to hold another this year.
A tearful Shirley Collins, 64, who said she had known King "all my life," said she was glad that arrests had been made in the case. She added that King was "crazy about his grandchildren."
A news account at the time of his death quoted a neighbor who described King as a retired widower who often cared for his three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
"He was just everybody's friend," Collins added.