A double homicide on Wolfe Street and an attempted double on Athol Avenue (one victim died there) pushed the city's annual murder count over 200 again last week, matching a terrible milestone Baltimore has avoided only once during the past decade. The rate of killings in 2013 is currently 7.4 percent over the rate last year, and although statistically the difference is meaningless, emotionally it's not.
As always, most of the victims are African-American, most are men under 30, and many-if not most-of the murders are committed by members of organized criminal gangs, dispatching rivals and enforcing the "no snitching" code. It makes the police work infinitely more difficult, as witnesses are often either terrified or involved in the conspiracy, or both.
Tuesday, Nov. 5
4:44 p.m. Brothers Kurt and Karl Berrain, both African-American, 25 and 30 years old, respectively, were in front of a house on the 200 block of South Wolfe Street when a man walked up and shot them both in the head, then fled. Police have charged 26-year-old Devon Ferguson, an African-American man who lives on the 3800 block of Parkmount Avenue, with first-degree murder in the case. They say that Ferguson, who beat a handgun charge last year and was already facing a drug charge (his first name is spelled "Devin" on that), "stalked" the Berrains after the two men said something to a woman Ferguson was with, a few blocks and a few hours before the murders.
5:23 p.m. Less than an hour later and 2 miles away, Kenneth Ray Stowers, a 50-year-old African-American man who lived on the 700 block of Bartlett Avenue, was shot on the 1100 block of East Oliver Street near the corner of Holbrook Street. He was hit more than once and pronounced dead by medics about 20 minutes later.
Wednesday, Nov. 6
6:07 p.m. Tyree Taylor, a 21-year-old African-American man, was on the 800 block of Appleton Street in the Midtown Edmondson neighborhood when he was shot in the head. Taylor, who police said lived on the 1900 block of Lanvale Street, was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Thursday, Nov. 7
2:34 a.m. Katira Drummond, a 24-year-old African-American woman, was outside on the 1500 block of West Baltimore Street in the Franklin Square neighborhood when someone shot her. Western District police found her on the sidewalk and got her to a hospital, where she died. Drummond, who lived on the 2100 block of Penrose Avenue, about a half-mile from where she was shot, was the city's 200th homicide victim this year and the fourth killed in the Franklin Square neighborhood.
11:00 p.m. About a mile from where Drummond was killed, Ricky Thomas, an African-American man, was shot several times on the 1100 block of McKean Avenue in the Bridgeview-Greenlawn neighborhood. He was four days shy of his 22nd birthday. On Nov. 9 police arrested Darrell Homer, a 22-year-old African-American man who lives on the block, and charged him with first-degree murder.
Saturday, Nov. 9
1:16 a.m. Southwest District police called to the 400 block of North Athol Avenue in Edmondson Village found Tracy Love, a 29-year-old African-American man, in a car there, shot multiple times in the head. Love, who resided in Essex, was pronounced dead a half-hour later at a hospital. Nearby, another man was shot in the abdomen. He survived.
10:29 p.m. Northeast District police called to a barbershop at the corner of Anthony and Frankford avenues found David Henry Parker, a 42-year-old African-American man, inside with fatal gunshot wounds to his head and back. Parker lived on the 3500 block of Elmley Avenue, about 2 1/2 miles from the shop.