Teen Shot, Dies In W. Baltimore

18-year-old's Death Is One Of Three Weekend Killings That City Police Are Investigating

August 03, 2009|By Laura Smitherman and Richard Irwin | Laura Smitherman and Richard Irwin,laura.smitherman@baltsun.com

A teenager died from a gunshot wound to the back Sunday afternoon after someone "opened fire without warning" in a West Baltimore neighborhood across from a recreation center and Gwynns Falls Park, police said.

The 18-year-old male victim and a 47-year-old man, who suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his left leg, were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Police had been called to the 800 block of Allendale St. shortly after 1 p.m.; the teenager was pronounced dead at the hospital less than an hour later.

"An unknown individual walked up on foot, brandished a weapon and opened fire without warning," said Agent Donny Moses, a Baltimore Police spokesman.

Moses said the gunman is believed to have fled in a white minivan, described as having a blue stripe on the side and dark-tinted windows, that was parked nearby. Moses said he didn't have additional information about the gunman or a motive.

While residents describe the neighborhood as a quiet enclave that boasts access to tennis and basketball courts, a playground and the recreation center that offers summer programs for children, some expressed fear about possible drug trafficking in the park.

The Edgewood Lyndhurst recreation center opened in 2005, the first such center to have been built in the city since 1975, after four grandmothers from the neighborhood fought for it. Then-Mayor Martin O'Malley attended the center's opening.

Now longtime resident Ellen LaBoo said she won't even take her dog, a poodle mix named Andy, through the area because of concerns over drug-related activity.

"I don't want to take my dog for a walk in that park, and I've lived here for 40 years," LaBoo said.

LaBoo, 61, who lives with her 84-year-old mother one block from the shooting, said she had just returned from Walmart after a morning church service and didn't hear the incident. But, she said, she did hear the emergency vehicles arrive.

Baltimore police also are investigating two other homicides that happened over the weekend.

At 2:15 a.m. Saturday, the body of Stanley Joines, 26, of the 1900 block W. Lafayette Ave. was found in the second floor of his home by police investigating a report that he hadn't been seen for several days.

While officers were at his home, a friend of Joines' entered through a window and helped police find his body, which showed indications of early decomposition. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body bore signs of blunt force trauma and his face was covered in an unknown fluid, Moses said.

Two hours later on Saturday, the body of a woman whose name has not been released was found lying against a fence in the 2800 block of Edgecombe Circle North by a tow truck operator who was called by police to tow a Honda Accord that was abandoned with its engine running. The officer at the scene had not noticed her body until informed by the tow truck operator.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. She suffered severe head injuries, and was either shot or beaten to death, Moses said. Police are investigating whether she was killed in the vehicle, and whether she owned it.

Police also identified the victim of a fatal stabbing that occurred during a fight early Saturday in the 300 block of North Paca St. as David Reese, 18. Arrested and charged with first degree murder in Reese's death was Oscar Skinner, 17, of the 400 block of Whitridge Ave.

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