A 52-year-old man died after being shot during a robbery at a carryout restaurant in Better Waverly on Monday night, renewing concerns in the community about the crime connected to the beleaguered business.
The Yau Brothers carryout, in the 2900 block of Greenmount Ave., was closed Tuesday, as it was after similar shooting incidents in the past two years: In 2010, 72-year-old security guard Charles Bowman was fatally shot in a robbery there, a year after three men were shot following a fight that broke out inside.
Del. Mary Washington likened the string of violent incidents to a public health crisis, and said she thinks the store should be shut down until officials can conduct a review of its security and business practices.
"It's perceived — correctly or incorrectly — as a place where bad things keep happening," Washington said. "At some level, you have to look at what's going on in and around that business."
Officers were called for a report of a robbery at about 6:45 p.m. The first officer on the scene found Freddie Jones Jr. suffering from at least one gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police did not provide a description of the suspects — three men were seen fleeing the scene — and did not respond to questions about the case. Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and Lt. Col. Garnell Green, the recently appointed chief of the homicide section, did not respond to email questions.
The owners of Yau Brothers also could not be reached; a man who answered the phone at a listed number said he did not speak English.
Jones' last known address was in the 900 block of Belgian Ave., about a mile and a half north of the carryout. Court records show he had recently lost a Northeast Baltimore home to a foreclosure, which records show he tried to fight. Relatives could not be located for comment.
City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, whose district includes the restaurant and who helped lead a community walk after Bowman's death, said Yau Brothers has installed surveillance cameras and appears to be targeted because it's a stand-alone business open later than some of the others in the area.
Still, Clarke said, after two fatal shootings of carryout patrons, "I think it's time to see if that store isn't ready to close."
Peter Prevas, a Baltimore attorney who represented a North Avenue liquor store that was padlocked by police after a string of violent incidents and later reopened, questioned the logic of punishing businesses.
"Where do you draw the line between the owner running a bad establishment, through inaction or otherwise, as opposed to being located in a bad neighborhood?" Prevas said. "Part of the main issue [with Linden Lounge] was communication, and they've tried to keep those lines open."
Washington, whose father was shot in a carryout in Philadelphia two decades ago, said Yau Brothers is the "epicenter of problems" and should be treated as "any risk to the public health of a community."
"If you found a business where people were getting sick from the food, you'd shut it down and conduct an investigation," she said. "Why would we do anything less" in response to incidents of violence, she asked.
"We have to do a better job of protecting the hard-working people of this city," she said.
Police ask that anyone with information call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.