Taylor got on the phone like he was calling someone, and then shuffled back toward the car.

"Something ain't right about this," Walker thought to himself. He tapped Burks on the arm, and they climbed back into the vehicle.

Suddenly, four men with hoods tied tight over their heads came running down a dark embankment. They pulled Burks out of the car, while Taylor watched from the front seat with a look of approval on his face.

"He was looking at us like, 'Yeah, I got y'all.' Like, 'I tricked y'all,'" Walker testified in court.

As Walker rushed to his friend's aid, he heard five gunshots. He turned to run, juked one of the hooded men, then heard another shot. Steps later, a searing pain shot through his back, and he fell to the ground.

The attackers piled into Taylor's car and sped off, driving right by Walker. Maybe they ran out of bullets, Walker said he thought. He staggered around the corner, where a police officer would later find him.

Burks lay on the pavement, taking his last breaths.

The 'Murder Police' man

Terrified residents called 911. "He's not moving, oh my God," one cried into the phone.

James Lloyd was the lead investigator assigned to find who killed Burks.

Impeccably dressed in a suit and tie, his head shaved bald, he looks every bit a "Murder Police." But his path to the premier police beat in one of the most murderous cities in America didn't come easy.

In fact, Lloyd, who turns 36 next week, has much in common with the victims and the suspect he encounters on his job nearly every day.

Growing up in small-town South Carolina, he was homeless and living out of a car behind a trailer park. He dropped out of school. His brother was a drug dealer. Born out of wedlock with a father who had another family, Lloyd was raised by relatives and in foster homes, and says he endured varying types of abuse.

He took a job working for a pool hall owner who paid him $2 a day, on the condition that he returned to school, and he eventually reconnected with his mother. She died while he was in his teens from an undiagnosed kidney disorder. He found her body after returning home from school one day.

That's when he moved to Baltimore, where a city schools teacher took him in, feeding and clothing him, and helped him to get into college, which led to graduate school. "I'm not supposed to be here," Lloyd says. "Life is hard. But it's all about choices. I made a choice, and I still make a choice every day."

Lloyd became a social worker, and, eventually, a cop on the Baltimore police force. He approaches his job with empathy and respect for his victims, and he considers those who cooperate to be "heroes." The "audacity to tell the truth," he calls it.

Initially, Lloyd got no cooperation from Walker, the surviving victim and eyewitness to the killing of Burks. Walker first told police that he had no idea who shot him. Double-crossed by his own friends and gang, he wanted to take matters into his own hands, he would later testify at Taylor's trial.

But word was going around that Walker was responsible for shooting Burks. Walker wanted to set the record straight, videotaping himself explaining what happened, a DVD testimonial that made its way around the street.

Holding the camera up close to his face and wearing a baseball cap backward, he explained his grief over seeing his friend get killed and pinned the crime on Taylor.

The video soon made it into Lloyd's hands as well, mysteriously landing on his desk in an unmarked envelope. And finally, Walker agreed to talk.