Man, 25, Is Fatally Shot In His Baltimore Highlands Home

August 22, 2009|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,justin.fenton@baltsun.com

The city's longest stretch of the year without a homicide was snapped when a 25-year-old man was killed Thursday afternoon after a gunman fired into the front window of his home.

About 4:30 p.m., police said, a man approached a home in the 100 block of S. Highland Ave. in the Baltimore Highlands community and banged on the door. Donte Gunter came to the front window and was shot three times, according to Detective Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

Officers responded to the area for a report of shots fired and saw three bullet holes in the window, Moses said. The officers forced their way into the house and found Gunter on the floor near the window "bleeding profusely," Moses said. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital and pronounced dead at 5:24 p.m.

Moses said Gunter lived in the home where the shooting occurred. Gunter had a criminal record, but no convictions in the past five years.

Baltimore, which has recorded 141 homicides this year, had gone nine days without a killing, the longest stretch of the year. The city is on pace to best last year's 20-year low in homicides, and has seen a nearly 30 percent drop in nonfatal shootings. Total crime is down 5 percent.

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said on a radio show Thursday that high-profile incidents have overshadowed progress this year. Even as the city went more than a week without a killing, a double shooting at the Inner Harbor, the racially motivated beating of an elderly black fisherman and a politician's marriage proposal involving city police resources dominated headlines.

"We've done some incredible things this year that have been overshadowed this year by one tragedy after another," Bealefeld said, acknowledging that the city still sees too much gun violence. "I think we have to sustain these results in order to win people's confidence."

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