27 October 2012

FRIDAY NIGHT FRIGHT! -- Four Shot In Drive-By Shooting

Story, photographs, audio & video by A.F. James MacArthur

A drive-by shooting Friday night left four people wounded, including a woman with critical injuries.

Baltimore police investigate drive-by shooting.
The shooting marked the second Friday night in a row involving multiple victims, shot in a short time span (see Friday Night Fusillade). It's also the second Friday in a row a female was shot, continuing an usual trend of a sharp increase in female shooting victims.

Shortly after 7 p.m., a van pulled up to the 300 block of Bloom St. (initially reported at 2100 block Druid Hill Ave.), in west Baltimore and opened fire on a group of people sitting in front a row house. Two teenagers, a man and a woman were all struck down in a hail of bullets.

The victims suffered varying levels of injury. The woman's wounds were most severe, with multiple gun shots to the torso and arm. Her injuries are considered life threatening. As of this writing she remains in critical condition.  All four victims were transported to area hospitals.

Raw video clip of shooting scene.

Yellow crime scene tape spanning several streets cut off a large portion of the Madison Park neighborhood. Investigators were seen combing an area several blocks long looking for shell casings and other evidence.

As with the majority of shootings in the city, police state there are no known motives or suspects.

The Batts Jinx And The Wire

Thursday evening  Police Commissioner Anthony Batts spoke to a midtown community group. He opened his remarks by referring to the critically acclaimed, gritty, Baltimore based TV crime drama, "The Wire." Batts said "I didn't like it. That's not the Baltimore we want people to see."

He went on to say Baltimore needs more positive press promoting what's great about the city.

A little more than an hour after Batts elucidated to the folks in midtown about the kind of Baltimore he wants people to see, across town in Westport, a young U.S. Navy officer visiting family was gunned down.

Alonzo Gladden had only been in the city a few hours before a car pulled up to the one he rode in with his brother. A gunman opened fire around 9 p.m., in front of Gladden's grandmothers house, ending his life at 24 years of age.

At 9:16 p.m. Baltimore Police reported via twitter: Confirmed Shooting-3700 blk St.Victor St-Southern District. Adult male reported shot. Besides the tweet, not much is known about the circumstance of the shooting or the current condition of the victim.

Two hours later, James Utley, 26, was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the 1400 block of E. Preston St. in front of abandoned vacant housing around 11 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time after.

It's notable that Wednesday saw no shootings until after Batt's denouncement of "The Wire." In total, three shootings would happen before the night was through.

A Terrible Thursday

The next day, the first shooting came early in the afternoon, in the same neighborhood as Gladden's murder the night before. That victim would also die.

Hours later Thursday evening, a man operating a taxi service was shot in 1300 block of N. Central Avenue in East Baltimore. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The shooting is the third in about a month, involving a taxi driver.

Frightful Friday

Most of the day passed relatively quiet until the drive-by shooting detailed here. It was the first quadruple shooting in a very long time.

In all, 10 people would be shot within 48 hours of Commissioner Batts pontification on "The Wire." Even the most violent episode of the show has not had as many people shot, over a two day period like happened in real life Baltimore.

Being from California, it should come as no surprise for Batts to make a showbiz reference when speaking to a group. After all, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world is located there.

Perhaps Baltimore would fare far better if our new commissioner, just three weeks on the job, stuck to talking about real life, real crime and real issues and left the fiction stuff for Hollywood. He's already jinxed us once. A sequel \episode could sink his ratings.
Skilled in multiple media disciplines, A.F. James MacArthur is Baltimore's premier independent crime correspondent. He may be reached at 410-205-NEWS (6397) voice or text message, MacArthurMedia@gmail.com, and followed on numerous social media, including: @BaltoSpectator on twitter , Spreaker web radioBlogTalk RadioBaltimore Spectator on Facebook,YouTube channel

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