The victim was identified as Brandon Hudson, who lived in a first-floor apartment in the 2900 block of N. Calvert St. Police said he had been shot in the head while lying on a couch.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi there was no sign of forced entry, and it was unknown when the shooting occurred. Guglielmi said detectives were "exploring multiple angles for a motive [and] one of those possible angles is drug-related," but he declined to elaborate.
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Hudson was a senior at Morgan State University and was studying business, school officials confirmed. His personal Facebook page said he was from Clinton and graduated from Gwynn Park High School in Prince George's County.
"It's a tragedy, and we really regret any time we lose a member of the Morgan family — it takes a piece from all of us," said Clinton Coleman, a university spokesman.
Morgan senior Keenan Richardson, 21, said he was friends with Hudson and that he was the "last person you'd expect something like this to happen to."
"He was a chill, laid-back person who was really serious about school and kept a big distance away from negativity," Richardson said.
Relatives could not be reached for comment. But others who knew Hudson were openly grieving on social networking sites throughout the day.
"Please stop the violence. My best friend in the whole world is gone," one woman wrote on Twitter. "Somebody took my best friends life and he … is roaming the streets while my best friend is laying in a morgue."
The shooting occurred within a stretch of homes converted into rental apartments, a few blocks east of Wyman Park and not far from the Johns Hopkins University.
On Friday, a glass window on the first set of doors to Hudson's apartment was broken out, which John Ohrenschall, who performs maintenance on the apartments, said occurred when the Fire Department forced entry.
According to Ohrenschall, a friend of Hudson's who had not heard from him in some time was able to gain access to the apartment building through another tenant. He knocked on Hudson's door, then found it was unlocked and entered, discovering the body. Police confirmed that account.
"He was a really nice guy, clean-cut, kept his place really neat," Ohrenschall said, recalling when Hudson's family helped him move in about 18 months earlier.
The shooting was one of two Thursday night, after three people were shot and wounded in the 1800 block of Maryland Ave. in the Charles North neighborhood and Station North Arts and Entertainment District.
Officers were dispatched for a report of shots fired about 12:58 a.m. and found a 26-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds.
Shortly after that, two additional victims, both age 24, walked on their own to Union Memorial Hospital, police said.
The victims said they were inside Club Envy at 1818 Maryland Ave. when an argument erupted. The group was ejected from the club, and when they got outside an unknown person began firing into the crowd, according to police.
Officers said they had not made any arrests in the case as of Friday afternoon.
Hudson's killing was the latest in a series of violent attacks in that North Baltimore community. On Nov. 26, two people were shot in the middle of the afternoon while sitting in an SUV in the 100 block of E. 22nd St. In October, a man was shot in the leg on St. Paul Street, just 50 feet from where Hopkins researcher Stephen Pitcairn was fatally stabbed last year while walking to his home and talking to his mother on his cellphone.
And on Oct. 1, a man tried to rape a Hopkins student in the 3200 block of Lovegrove St., an alley that runs between St. Paul and North Charles streets.
Anyone with information on the killing was asked to call detectives at 410-396-2100, where they can remain anonymous.
Baltimore Sun reporter Peter Hermann contributed to this article.