Three city men dead in separate shootings Saturday

December 28, 2009|By Julie Scharper | julie.scharper@baltsun.com

Three men were killed in separate shootings Saturday evening, including a business owner found gunned down in the back room of his jewelry store and a man who was struck while going to his sons' aid in a fight, Baltimore police said.

A relative discovered Wayne Ruder, 56, with a gunshot wound inside his store in the 6900 block of Reisterstown Road about 5 p.m., said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

There was no sign of forced entry and it did not appear that anything had been taken from the store, Ruder and Company Jewelry and Antiques, Moses said.

The store had been closed Saturday but Ruder often went in on Saturdays to "do paperwork and tie up loose ends," Moses said. After calling and not receiving a response, a relative went to the store to check on Ruder and found him injured, Moses said.

Ruder was taken to Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 6 p.m.

Ruder was an "upstanding, outstanding citizen and businessman," Moses said. "Why anyone would want him dead is unknown to us as well as to family members."

In a separate incident Saturday night, Ashley Harper, 53, was fatally shot after a fight broke out in front of his home in the 700 block of W. Lexington St., Moses said.

The man's sons and sons' friends stepped outside the house and a group of unknown men began to assault them about 10 p.m., Moses said.

During the skirmish, one of the sons was heard saying, "Go get Daddy," Moses said.

"And, unfortunately, when Daddy came outside, he was met by gunfire," Moses said.

Also Saturday night, a man was found in the 1800 block of E. Pratt St. with gunshot wounds to his head and upper body, Moses said.

The man, who has not been identified, was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Moses said.

Police have not identified suspects or motives in any of the shootings, Moses said.

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