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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 10/10/2007

Murders This Week: 3
Murders This Year: 234

Baltimore City had six days in row without a homicide. This is only the second time this year this has happened. Despite the lull there have been 19 more murders this year than at the same time last year.

Friday, Oct. 5

5:33 p.m. Police were called to a shooting in the 2300 block of Eutaw Place in Reservoir Hill. When they arrived they couldn’t find the shooting victim. People standing in the block told police that the shots had come from one of the residences and that after the shots were fired three men were seen fleeing the residence. At that location police saw a man lying in the vestibule. They forced the door open. Tyrone Blanding, a 30-year-old African-American man, had been shot in the head and was dead. This is the third murder in Reservoir Hill this year.

Saturday, Oct. 6

2:02 a.m. Darwin Kelly, Jr., 20-year-old African-American man, was shot in the back in an alley in the 1700 block of Homestead Street off Harford Road. He died before he could be taken to the hospital. The Northeastern police district is currently tied with the Western district for the second most homicides in the city. They each have had 34 murders this year. The Eastern district has had the most, at 41 homicides so far. There were 24 murders in the Northeastern district in all of 2006.

5:55 a.m. A few hours later, four people were shot between a playground and a basketball court at a public housing facility in the 1400 block of May Court. Damon Coleman, a 35-year-old African-American man, was shot in the back and died shortly after being taken to nearby Johns Hopkins Hospital. Three other African-American men in their 30s were also shot but survived. This is the third quadruple shooting that resulted in a homicide this year.


The murder investigation of Shirley Cooper, a 72-year-old African-American woman stabbed repeatedly in her apartment on June 2, has been closed by exception. Police believe that Raleigh Pettus, a 43-year-old African-American homeless man, killed Cooper. Pettus’ badly decomposed body was found in a wooded area on June 17. He had been shot to death. At the time of his murder, police gave the spelling of Pettus’ first name as Riley. His name is listed both ways in the Maryland Judiciary case records.

The Aug. 3 murder of Lorado Williams Jr., a 27-year-old African-American man, has also been closed by exception. Police believe that Eric Ford, a 19-year-old African-American man, shot Williams in the head during a robbery. Two days later, two blocks from where Williams was killed, Ford was involved in a struggle and was shot and killed during what according to police appeared to be a robbery attempt. At the time they could not say whether Ford was the victim or the perpetrator of the robbery. According to police at least five 2007 homicides have been closed because the suspect was murdered.

A second suspect was arrested in the May 17 murder of Robert Perlie, a 16-year-old African-American male. Perlie had been shot in the head and was found face down in a pool of blood. Tyres Taylor, a 22-year-old African-American, was arrested on Aug. 14 and charged with murder and armed robbery. James Giles, a 21-year-old African-American man, has also been charged with the crime.

Two arrests have been made in the March 13 murder of Christopher Clarke, an 18-year-old African-American man. On Sept. 11, police arrested Jerome Whitacker, a 23-year-old African-American man, and Brandon Green, a 22-year-old African-American man, in the 3300 block of Ramona Avenue in Belair-Edison, where both lived, and charged them with the murder. On Sept. 17, Antonio Santifer, a 19-year-old African-American man, was in jail on unrelated charges when he was charged with assault and handgun violations (but not murder) in connection with Clarke’s death. According to the State’s Attorney’s office court documents allege that Clarke was hit in the crossfire of a shootout involving Whitacker, Green, and Santifer, who were all wounded in the incident.

Also on Sept. 17, police arrested Omar McGee, an 18-year-old African-American man, and charged him with the Aug. 9 murder of Troy Richardson, a 30-year-old African-American man from Dundalk. McGee is one of at least 27 teenagers charged with a 2007 murder.

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