Police investigate seventh homicide of year in Northeast Baltimore district

February 17, 2011|By Yeganeh June Torbati, The Baltimore Sun

Police were investigating a fatal shooting that occurred Wednesday night in Northeast Baltimore, the district's seventh homicide of the year.

About 10:55 p.m., police were called to the 1600 block of E. 31st St. in the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood for a reported shooting. Inside a home, they found Martez Anthony Hall, 22, who had been shot several times in the torso. Hall was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:32 p.m., police said.

Police said they had no suspects and knew of no motive.

The block is near The Alameda and steps from St. Paul Baptist Church.

The killing is the third in the Northeast district in as many weeks and the seventh there this year. One of nine police districts in Baltimore, it has been the site of one-third of the city's homicides in 2011.

It came hours after Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III addressed residents of the district at their monthly police community relations council meeting.

Bealefeld said few people seem to take note of the steep decline in Baltimore crime in recent years, but he acknowledged a problem in the Northeast and said it is no longer confined to a small area in the southern part of the district.

"A lot more needs to be done in this area," he told the group. "It's unacceptable under anybody's standards. And it's moving — it's moving east and west, and we need to do something about it."

Police had said earlier this year that they were focusing more patrol and detective efforts in the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood in an effort to stem robberies.

jtorbati@baltsun.com

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