After a relatively quiet week, Baltimore has had 22 fewer homicides this year than at the same time last year. In fact, this is the first time since data was first collected for this column, in 2004, that there were fewer than 71 murders as of April 14. Still, the city's per-capita homicide rate remains high compared to other cities in the region. So far this year, eight per 100,000 residents of Baltimore City have been murdered. In both Washington and Philadelphia that number is six per 100,000.
On April 8, the death of Yolanda Brown, a 36-year-old African-American woman, was ruled a homicide. On March 20 at 6:22 a.m. police were notified that a body had been dumped from a green car in the 3600 block of Winterbourne Road in Gwynns Falls Park. The car then sped away. Police found Brown's body lying in the middle of the street. There were no signs of trauma, but on April 8 the medical examiner's office ruled that she had been asphyxiated. She is the ninth female to be murdered in the city this year.
Friday, April 11
9:17 p.m. Police were called to the scene of a shooting at the intersection of West Lexington and North Mount streets in the Franklin Square neighborhood of West Baltimore. When they arrived they found a 28-year-old African-American man lying under a parked car. He had been shot in the leg. While they were tending to that man, police were told that a 29-year-old African-American man was shot in the back while sitting in a chair in a house on Lexington. Police believe the man was hit by a stray bullet. A third victim in the shooting, a 25-year-old African-American man named Anthony Izzard, was discovered lying on the front stoop of a vacant house on North Mount Street. Izzard had been shot in the left side and died at 12:19 a.m. the next day at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The other two victims survived. Half of this year's homicide victims have been fatally shot African-American males under the age of 30.
On April 10, Thomas Taylor, a 27-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years for a shooting that left one man dead and another injured. On March 1, 2006, Taylor got into an argument with Joseph Miller, a 26-year-old African-American man, and some other people over some Bloods graffiti. Taylor left, returned with a gun. He shot Miller, who was trying to break up the argument, and another person. Miller died; the other man was seriously injured but survived.