It's often hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys in Baltimore. Today's victim is all to frequently tomorrow's suspect. And so it goes with Stanley Brunson, with a reputation that put him on the front mind of the city's top cop:
A man described by the city’s police commissioner as an “engine for violent crime” was arrested Saturday night and charged with killing one man and wounding another in a shooting earlier this month in West Baltimore.
Stanley Brunson, 35, of the 1100 block of Sargent St. in Brooklyn, was being held without bail in the city’s detention center, charged with first degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, four counts of assault, two counts of reckless endangerment and several weapons violations.
The murder charge stems from the Dec. 19 fatal shooting of 29-year-old Donte Collins and the wounding of another man in the 1500 block of Rosedale St., in Rosemont.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III told The Baltimore Sun earlier this month that Brunson was a “legend” for allegedly fueling violence. There were four fatal shooting on the border of the Southwestern and Western police districts in one week this month.
“These guys like Stanley Brunson and other, they’re legendary in neighborhood,” Bealefeld said during a broad interview about crime and a drop in the number of slayings in 2011 to under 200 for the first time in three decades.
Police have long complained that victims and suspects often share similar criminal histories. Brunson is awaiting trial on drug charges and was convicted of drug possession with intent to distribute in 2007. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, but seven years and four months were suspended. Prosecutors dropped a handgun and armed robbery charge against him in 2008 and he was acquitted of attempted murder in 2004.
Brunson has also twice been a victim. He was shot in 2003 and, most recently, on Dec. 15, when police said he was wounded in the arms and legs on Belmont Avenue in Rosemont. He took himself to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, was treated and released.
Four days after Brunson was shot, Collins was killed and the other man was wounded in the same Rosemont community.
Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that police believe the motive in that killing “was retaliation for an earlier shooting.” He said detectives were lead to the suspect “by community intelligence.”