A 21-year-old man has been charged with killing a 2-year-old in West Baltimore, and detectives were investigating a fatal shooting of a 27-year-old man and two nonfatal shootings elsewhere in the city.
Police said Damond Stansbury has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of the child, Marlo McFadden, who was found unresponsive Monday morning in his grandmother's home in the 1600 block of Mountmor Court in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.
Officers were initially told that the child appeared to have fallen from a bunk bed, and Marlo's grandmother said she had frantically splashed water onto his face in a futile attempt to revive him, charging documents show. But at the hospital doctors reported possible pre-existing injuries and an autopsy determined the child's injuries were more severe than a fall from a bed.
The boy's grandmother had said to police responding to the scene that Stansbury was at the home when Marlo became unconscious, but in a later interview after his death she told police that Stansbury had not been there, police wrote in charging documents. Her 29-year-old daughter also denied Stansbury was there.
Detectives turned to two young children who were at the home, asking them what happened.
"Damond hit Marlo a lot," one of the children replied, according to charging documents.
The detective ended the interview and took the young witness to the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, where he was interviewed by a social worker. The 6-year-old said Stansbury had beaten Marlo on his head and body before the children were put to bed, according to court records.
The child's mother also told investigators that Stansbury had abused the boy "at least 10 times in the past," and said "he would always punch the child in the body," making motions of the strikes in the same way a boxer would throw body punches, court records show.
The exact nature of Stansbury's relationship to Marlo was unclear from court records, though he and the boy's mother have a daughter together, police said.
He was being held without bond, and court records did not list an attorney.
Homicide detectives are also investigating the shooting death of a man in the 100 block of N. Bond St. in the Washington Hill neighborhood south of Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore.
Carolyn Broidy said family members were outside on Sunday night, fresh off a recent trip to Jamaica, when her 27-year-old nephew Brandon Stroud stepped away to make a phone call. They heard a single gunshot, rushed out front and saw him on the pavement.
Stroud had been shot in the head, and was taken to Johns Hopkins, where he was placed on life support and died the next day. Family members say Stroud was quiet — a "loner," according to aunt Teresa S. Thompson — and they were struggling to understand why he was shot.
"Sometimes you know if they were a bad child, and you're not surprised. But he never bothered anyone," said Broidy, 51. "You wonder, 'Was it mistaken identity?' "
The shooting occurred near a city surveillance camera at the corner of North Bond Street and East Fairmount Avenue, which on Wednesday was partially blocked by memorial balloons that had floated up to the top of the pole that holds the camera.
Stroud lived with his mother, Cheryl Ruffin, and was her only child. She said he had been taking online courses hoping to work in information technology. Court records show he had a handful of minor drug arrests over the years but no convictions. Broidy asked anyone with information to go straight to police and not pass neighborhood rumors to Ruffin. "She doesn't need to hear what you think you heard," Broidy said.
Anyone with information was asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100. Callers can remain anonymous.
Early Wednesday, two more men were shot and wounded, police said.
One shooting occurred at about 2:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Lemmon St. in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood in the Southern police district; the other occurred around midnight at the intersection of South Augusta Avenue at Walrad Street, in the Irvington neighborhood, in the Southwestern District.
In both cases, district detectives were assigned to investigate, indicating the victim's injuries were not considered life-threatening.