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Murder Ink

Murders this Week: 6; Murders this Year: 195

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Baltimore Police called a press conference on Friday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. to announce the year’s 1,000th gun arrest. The department claims to have taken 1,800 illegal guns off the streets this year, and preparation for the milestone began early in the day, when a police spokesperson emailed the press that the arrest was impending and likely to happen that afternoon.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told reporters that officers saw a man who looked like he was armed, chased and caught him, and recovered a .45-caliber semi-auto. Strangely, he did not name the person arrested, nor did police name the alleged perpetrator in a follow-up email. The department appears ahead of last year’s gun-arrest rate, as the 1,000th gun arrest of 2012 came in December, after a man reportedly walked into a stranger’s house and hid a gun behind a couch, then passed out on the front porch.

July 5

Added to the homicide list is Sabriya Towels, a 1-year-old baby girl found in Baltimore County in July. Police determined that she had died in Baltimore City after being left in a car on July 5. The manner of death was described as accidental, but police have listed it as a homicide, The Sun reported. Towels’ grandfather, Anthony Towels, was indicted on Oct. 2 and arrested on Oct. 5. Police said he was supposed to drop the girl off at Head Start but went to a home on Paca Street and took a nap, leaving the baby in his truck.

Aug. 16

Michael Stewart, a 38-year-old African-American man, died at St. Agnes hospital from injuries received in a 1998 shooting in the Walbrook neighborhood, The Baltimore Sun reported. On June 3 of that year, on the 1900 block of Rosedale Street, Stewart was shot twice in the upper body. Those old wounds caused his death this year, a medical examiner determined, and so Stewart’s death is added to this year’s homicide total. The case is unsolved.

Oct. 22

3:53 p.m. Gwendolyn Johnson, a 24-year-old African-American woman, was in the Latrobe Homes on the 800 block of Abbot Court on Oct. 22 when, according to police, Brittany Powers shot her to death. Eastern District police found Johnson shot in the stomach and got her to a hospital, where she died. The warrant-apprehension task force arrested Powers, a 23-year-old African-American woman who lives less than a mile away on the 1400 block of Ashland Avenue, on Oct. 29. Powers is charged with first-degree murder. In 2009, a woman with the same birthday whose first name is spelled Brittnay faced handgun, assault, and armed robbery charges. She pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to 12 years, seven suspended.

Oct. 29

11:10 p.m. Darnell Moore, an 18-year-old African-American man, was shot on the 500 block of West Preston Street. Central District police responded and found Moore with wounds to his back and shoulder. He was taken to a hospital but died at 11:57 p.m.

Oct. 31

1:15 p.m. Two African-American men were shot to death on the 2000 block of Kennedy Avenue in the East Baltimore Midway neighborhood. Eastern District police arrived to find Brian Michael Birden, 21, formerly of the 1600 block of Radecke Avenue, on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. Seconds later, they found Michael Anthony Carter, 24, of the 2200 block of McCulloh Street, also shot multiple times. Birden died at the scene, and Carter died at the hospital less than an hour later. Police are asking people to come forward and tell what they know.

Updates:

Police arrested Sterling Ford, a 23-year-old African-American man, on Nov. 1 and charged him with the attempted murder of a 50-year-old man on Halloween. Ford allegedly shot the man, who police have not publicly identified, on the 2000 block of Homewood Avenue. Police are looking for two other people they say were with Ford.

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