An 18-year-old man dressed in women's clothes was fatally shot in the head at a gas station in East Baltimore early Saturday morning, according to police.

Desean Bowman, of the 200 block of Ballou Court, was pumping gas shortly after 2 a.m. at the Exxon gas station at the corner of E. Fayette and N. Caroline streets, near the Douglass Homes neighborhood, when a female friend of his got out of the car he was fueling and went to the station's cashier window, police said.

At the window, the girl was approached by an unknown man who identified himself as "Tay" and attempted to talk to her, police said.

The girl rebuffed the man's attempts to start conversation and a verbal argument began, said Det. Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

Bowman then told the girl to get back into the car, where a third friend was also sitting, Moses said.

"Our victim was trying to keep peace (by saying), 'Why even argue with this guy? Just get in the car,'" Moses said.

As she began to get back into the car, the unknown man — who police believe may frequent the Douglass Homes area — allegedly shot Bowman in the head, police said.

The unknown man then fled on foot, police said.

Bowman was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before 3:30 a.m., police said.

Moses said Bowman's dress did not appear to be a factor in the shooting. Police had initially believed Bowman was a woman when they first responded to the scene.

Police are asking anyone with information about the killing to call detectives at 410-396-2100.

krector@baltsun.com

twitter.com/rectorsun