Man fatally shot after nearby vigil for homicide victim

January 16, 2009|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,

A 56-year-old man was fatally shot Wednesday night in Southwest Baltimore, as a candlelight vigil for a homicide victim from last week was wrapping up just a few blocks away.

More than 70 people gathered in the street in front of Tomasina Degree's South Wickham Street home Wednesday night to mourn her son, Kip, 23, remembering his love of dancing and warning of the dangers of gun violence.

But as the crowd dispersed, several patrol officers sent to monitor the vigil jumped into their cars to respond to a shooting less than a mile away in the 5400 block of Jamestowne Court.

Police said a man identified as Ronald Crosby was shot in the head and back, apparently as he walked from his car to his house. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical condition Wednesday night and was pronounced dead yesterday morning.

Crosby, who lived in the Jamestowne community, becomes the city's 15th homicide victim of the year. Six people had been killed at this time last year.

The vigil for Kipton A. Degree Jr. was relatively upbeat - there were more laughs than tears as friends and family recalled his infectious personality.

"Kip brought positive energy everywhere," said one friend. "We all know how good of a person he was. So crazy, so fun."

Degree was shot in the head last Thursday night in the hallway of an apartment complex in the 5000 block of Dickey Hill Road. Tomasina Degree returned home after driving around looking for him to find a card tucked into her front door that instructed her to call Baltimore homicide detectives.

She acknowledged that her son had gone through troubles in life - court records show several arrests - but she said he had become deeply religious.

The Rev. Anthony N. Savoy, a youth minister at New Generations Ministries, decried black-on-black violence and gang activity that he said is affecting generations of Baltimore's families.

"In Baltimore, we don't have love in houses, in our schools. ... We don't have love nowhere," Savoy said. "It's time to grow up, and be somebody in life."

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