6 people dead in a span of 16 hours

Murder-suicide in Timonium

city's toll rises by three

September 16, 2007|By Bradley Olson | Bradley Olson,Sun reporter

Six people are dead after the weekend got off to a bloody start in the Baltimore area, as violence stretched from the toughest of city neighborhoods to a leafy subdivision in Timonium.

All the deaths apparently occurred within a period of about 16 hours. Some victims were killed on the streets, others in their homes and one at a bar. They came from different walks of life and police say none of the deaths appear to be related.

Two of the incidents involved domestic disputes between estranged couples in Baltimore County, including one in which there was a court order prohibiting the apparent shooter from visiting the home.

In the city three men - including one who was shot in a Southwest Baltimore tavern - were killed in separate homicides Friday night and yesterday, police reported.

The three city killings brought the number of homicides in Baltimore this year to 218, compared with 193 on the same date last year. The number of reported killings in Baltimore County reached 31, compared with 34 for the entire year in 2006.

In Timonium, police found Jessica Jacobsen, 38, wounded but alive about 7 p.m. Friday in her front yard after being shot in the chest by her estranged husband, Jeffrey Jacobsen, 38. He was found dead inside their large home in the 1900 block of Cranbourne Road after he took his own life, police said.

Jessica Jacobsen was pronounced dead at Sinai Hospital, said Cpl. Patrick Wilhelm. In May, she had obtained a permanent order from the Baltimore County District Court that instructed her husband to vacate the home indefinitely and to have no contact with his wife. That order followed similar temporary orders granted in April.

The couple lived with their two children in the affluent neighborhood of Jennifer Ridge in a two-story, brick-front Colonial, purchased new in 2001 for $499,000 and now assessed at $711,000. A large wooden playset was visible in the backyard yesterday, and two bouquets were placed in the front. Several floral arrangements had also been placed at the couple's mailbox.

Barbara Coward, a neighbor, said she'd had brief encounters with the victim at neighborhood events. She said that as recently as Wednesday, her two sons played with the Jacobsens' two sons in the yard where the shooting took place.

"She seemed very pleasant and very friendly," Coward said. "She was very all-American, blond and attractive." Jeffrey Jacobsen, she said, "seemed like the last person" who would have committed such a crime.

Coward said she didn't notice the shooting but did hear a firetruck driving to the scene soon afterward.

"Because this neighborhood is so peaceful, my first instinct was that there must have been a car accident," she said. "It was the last place you expect this to happen."

A few hours after that incident, in a blue-collar neighborhood in Southeast Baltimore County, a man broke into his former girlfriend's home in the 1200 block of S. Marlyn Ave. in Essex and found the woman with her new boyfriend, police said. The assailant fatally shot the boyfriend and then turned the gun on himself.

He was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, but his condition could not be determined.

Police did not immediately release the identities of the gunman or victim in the Essex shootings. The shootings occurred in a development called Walnut Grove, a strip of two-story, brick-faced townhouses that are mostly rental properties assessed in the mid-$60,000s. A woman who answered the door at the address looked tearful and said she had no comment, then shut the door.

Neighbors, who asked not be be identified, said the woman lived at the townhouse with her two children - a son and daughter. They described her as a kind woman who always waved, took her children camping and lent her lawn mower to her neighbors.

In Baltimore, John J. Christen, 20, was shot several times - at least once in the head - after an altercation in the Top Shelf Lounge about 1 a.m., police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman in the tavern, located in the 3300 block of Old Frederick Road, was wounded in the foot in the same incident.

Top Shelf Lounge has been repeatedly cited by the city liquor board for selling alcohol to minors. In 2006, the board levied a $2,000 fine when proprietors sold alcohol to a 19-year-old undercover Maryland State Police cadet. The bar was accused by the board of a similar violation in 2004.

No one answered the door at the bar yesterday, and attempts to reach the proprietors were unsuccessful.

"It's always bad around here," said a man who lives in the neighborhood and asked that his name be withheld.

In another homicide, police responding to an 11:10 a.m. report of a shooting in the 2300 block of E. Oliver St. found an unidentified adult male with a gunshot wound to the torso. That block, at Oliver Street and North Patterson Park Avenue, was the scene of two other recent slayings - one last month and another in February that occurred just around the corner.

Joseph Bryant, 29, was killed Aug. 7 in the same block of Oliver Street, and Daniel Savage, 32, was killed Feb. 21 in the 1500 block of N. Bradford St. Both blocks are in the Broadway East neighborhood north of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Just after midnight yesterday, police responding to a call from a family member at a home in the 2500 block of Terra Firma Road in Cherry Hill found a 29-year-old man dead in the house. Police said the victim, a resident of the house identified as Qafim Kaba, appeared to have been stabbed.

bradley.olson@baltsun.com

Sun reporters Laura Barnhardt, Chris Emery and Madison Park contributed to this article.

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