Five people were shot overnight Monday — including three people shot in two incidents in the same block in East Baltimore over a span of less than six hours, police said.
A police spokesman said commanders were meeting to determine why officers weren't in the block for the second shooting in the 2600 block of Grogan Ave, which killed a man. Five hours earlier, a double-shooting sent two men to the hospital for treatment.
Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts has spoken often about the agency doing a better of job of getting in front of retaliatory shootings, and it is common for an officer to be assigned to keep watch over a block in the wake of a shooting.
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2600 Grogan Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21213, USA
1100 North Bentalou Street, Baltimore, MD 21216, USA
Anthony Guglielmi, the department's chief spokesman, said Col. Dean Palmere, head of the investigations and intelligence division, was meeting with leadership of the Eastern District and the patrol division to determine whether officers had been assigned there and if they were pulled off to respond to other calls for service.
The first shooting was reported at 5:56 p.m. Eastern District officers patrolling the 1300 block of North Luzerne Ave. were flagged down by a man in a white T-shirt, blue jeans and blue sneakers, who told them he had been shot.
Police identified the man as Christopher Barfield, who was conscious and responsive and told officers he was in the rear of a home on Luzerne Avenue near the intersection of Grogan Avenue when he was shot in the right arm. He also said his cousin had been standing next to him and was also shot. But Barfield didn't know where he had gone afterward, police said.
Paramedics transported Barfield to an area hospital. At 6:43 p.m., a man walked into Johns Hopkins Hospital emergency room with a graze wound to his upper body. Detectives believe he was the cousin Barfield was referring to.
Less than five hours later, Baltimore police say they found a man lying on the ground in the 2600 block of Grogan Ave., suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. at an area hospital.
At the scene, blood filled the cracks of a portion of sidewalk in front of an unsecured vacant home, and two empty liquor bottles rested near the curb. Two groups of people declined to talk to a reporter; one woman identified herself as the wife of the fatal shooting victim, but said she did not want media coverage.
Detectives are investigating possible connections between the shootings and had no suspects or motives Tuesday morning. Grogan Avenue, which consists only of the 2600 block and is located in the Berea neighborhood, has been a frequent site of violence over the past few years.
In March 2010, Michael Holt, a 20-year-old man on probation, was found lying in an alley behind the even side of the block with a fatal gunshot wound to his torso.
In November 2007, Carlos Smithson, 22, was shot several times and killed while at a rowhouse filled with women and young children. Smithson had been scheduled to testify a few days later in a Baltimore Circuit Court trial of a man accused of shooting him repeatedly in the legs and injuring two women a block away from where he was killed.
According to reports, Smithson was shot to death just as a vigil for a 16-year-old murder victim killed in the previous year was taking place a half block away.
Across town in West Baltimore on Monday night, Baltimore police officers also responded to a double shooting in the Bridgeview-Greenlawn neighborhood at 11:45 p.m. Officers found one man suffering from gunshot wounds to the shoulder, abdomen and leg. A second man was also found suffering from gun shot wounds to both legs. Both victims are listed in stable condition at area hospitals, police said.
A preliminary investigation revealed that three unidentified suspects entered the 1100 block of North Bentalou St. and approached the victims who were in a crowd of other men. The suspects began firing on the group, police said, before the trio fled.
Baltimore Sun staff writer Kevin Rector contributed to this report.