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Murder Ink

Murders this Week: 10; Murders this Year: 16

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Baltimore City’s murder rate spiked during the first two weeks of the new year, challenging police brass to respond to a phenomenon that seems to have stumped Commissioner Anthony Batts. “They’re random incidents, and our job now is to connect the pieces of the puzzle and find out what’s the background and what’s the motive,” Batts told a Baltimore Sun reporter on Jan. 3 while touring the neighborhood where Keon Carter (see below) had just been killed. Four days after that, City Council members peppered his patrol commander with questions (Mobtown Beat, Jan. 15). And the murder spree continued, with three more killings on Friday, Jan. 10 and three more over the weekend, to bring the year’s pace to more than one murder per day. Baltimore had six murders by this time last year, seven in the same period of 2012.

Friday, Jan. 3

5:30 p.m. Keon Carter, a 20-year-old African-American man from Dundalk, was on the 1700 block of Ashburton Street in Coppin Heights when someone shot him multiple times, including in the head. Police identified him on Jan. 6. Police Commissioner Anthony Batts was quoted by The Baltimore Sun as saying, “The critical piece is that this is not gang-related.”

Monday, Jan. 6

4:29 p.m. Northwestern District police were called to a shooting on the 3600 block of Liberty Heights Avenue, on the border of the Forest Park and Ashburton neighborhoods. There they found Jonathan Terry, a 28-year-old African-American man, lying in the road, shot. Terry was taken to a hospital, where he died soon after. Police say they believe Terry was shot inside a vehicle.

7:48 p.m. Police were called to the 4400 block of Pall Mall Road for a shooting. They found Bobby Jones, a 51-year-old African-American man, shot. He was pronounced dead at a hospital soon after. Police believe Jones was shot a block or two away on the 3000 block of Oakford Avenue and updated the location to reflect that belief.

Wednesday, Jan. 8

10:24 p.m. Two days and 7 miles from the last murder, Marvin Lee McGowan, a 30-year-old African-American man, was sitting in a vehicle on the 5300 block of Eastbury Avenue near his home when someone shot him. He was dead when police found him there.

Thursday, Jan. 9

2:58 p.m. Jose Abreu and a woman he was related to were in the Latino Deli and American Grocery store they run at 526 S. Smallwood St. in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood when a young African-American man, about 5-foot 9-inches and 160 pounds, came in to rob them, police believe. The man shot Abreu in the chest, killing him, and then spoke to the woman before shooting her and running off. The woman survived.

Friday, Jan. 10

2:00 a.m. Spencer Falcon, a 28-year-old African-American man, was driving in his car on West 22nd Street near the corner of Maryland Avenue when a man who police believe was Robert Hopkins, a 28-year-old African-American man, tried to carjack him. Falcon was shot in the head and died. Hopkins fled a couple of blocks and holed up in a nonprofit on the 2100 block of North Charles Street, where he shot himself after a standoff with police on Friday morning. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said Hopkins was suspected in many other violent crimes and called him “a one-man crime spree.”

10:00 a.m. As police were dealing with Hopkins’ barricade, Dejuan Willis, a 17-year-old African-American boy, was stabbed to death 3 miles south on the 2500 block of Frederick Avenue. That murder was only a few hundred yards from the grocery store robbery of the day before.

6:00 p.m. A few hours later, about as far across town as you can get inside the city, Northeastern District officers found a man shot in the 7000 block of McClean Boulevard. The man was pronounced dead on the scene.

Saturday, Jan. 11

4:00 a.m. Central District police, responding to what they thought was a car accident on the 100 block of East Madison Avenue, found an overturned car with Ricky Mellerson inside. The 28-year-old African-American man had been shot multiple times, making him the fourth person this week found dead or dying inside a vehicle or having been shot inside one.

Sunday, Jan. 12

9:58 p.m. A man police have not yet identified publicly was shot in the head on the 3600 block of Reisterstown Road. He was taken to a hospital, where he died at 10:30 p.m. The shooting is less than a mile from where Bobby Jones was killed six days before.

11:13 p.m. An hour later and less than a quarter-mile away, in the East Arlington neighborhood, Northwestern patrol officers were called to the 3900 block of Edgewood Road, where they found a man who had been shot multiple times. The man, whose name police have not yet released, was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m.

Updates:

On Jan. 8 police arrested Jamol Kingsborough, a 19-year-old African-American man, and charged him with the Oct. 20, 2012 murder of Darius Taybron, who was also 19 when he was shot.

Police released the name of the victim of the fatal hit-and-run on Jan. 3. She was Helen Henson. She was 54 years old. That incident is not counted as a homicide.

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