25-year-old dies after downtown barber shop shooting

Police also investigating fatal stabbing in Northeast Baltimore

April 10, 2011|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

The two women came barreling down the street, wailing as they sprinted over the downtown light rail tracks and towards the crime scene in front of a barber shop.

"Please tell me [my brother's] not shot," one shouted, holding a cell phone. "Please tell me no."

A gruff police commander walked over. "How do you know he's been shot? We don't even know who it is," he said.

After catching her breath, the woman replied, "It was on Facebook."

Just before 5 p.m. Saturday, police found a man shot several times inside the Focal Point barber shop in the 200 block of W. Saratoga St. Police identified the victim Sunday as Dwight Taylor, 25, confirming the women's fears. They had yelled out his birthdate, full name and description to the officers on the scene trying to determine if they were in fact related to the victim. Authorities say two men burst into the barber shop as Taylor was awaiting a haircut and began firing at him. A motive was not immediately known.

The shooting was the second violent incident during the day in the downtown area since Friday, when a 46-year-old man was critically wounded in a stabbing across the street from Lexington Market, also just before 5 p.m. Police said they were looking for a male and female suspect in that case.

The barber shop shooting had bystanders rattled.

Mario Worrell, 65, was passing through the area and mused that if he had been there 15 minutes earlier, he might have found himself face to face with the gunman. "It's just so bold — the place full of people, on a Saturday afternoon," he said. "The Lord works in mysterious ways."

Another man, who lives in an apartment in the block and said he was too fearful to give his name, said he doesn't personally feel unsafe but said there's been a rash of what seems to be drug-related violence.

"It's kind of unnerving," he said, "but, it's Baltimore."

Meanwhile, violence continued in Northeast Baltimore, where 11 people have been slain this year, the most in the city. It's the largest police district, and has had a vacancy at the commander position since January.

Police said 31-year-old James Evans was found at about 2:30 a.m. lying next to a vehicle in the 4900 block of Bowland Ave., suffering from a stab wound to the chest. He was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Detective Kevin Brown, a police spokesman, said police did not know of a motive or any suspects. Court records indicate that Evans had lived in the 1100 block of Gorsuch Ave.

The stabbing occurred not far from Dr. Samuel L. Banks High School and in the Frankford neighborhood, where police recently investigated two fatal shootings near shopping centers.

On March 29, a Tuesday afternoon, Durell Roach, 31, was fatally shot in the 5400 block of Sinclair Lane, in the parking lot of a shopping center. Two days later, in the 6000 block of Moravia Park Drive, 31-year-old Tyrone Slay was fatally shot.

In late January, a 51-year-old man was found fatally shot a few blocks away from where Evans was discovered, in the 5700 block of Eastbury Ave. Police made an arrest in that case, but not the others.

Anyone with information about the incidents was asked to call homicide detectives at 410-296-2100.


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