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Mysterious downtown Baltimore death reported early Saturday

Three men were found dead in Baltimore late Friday and early Saturday, as a spate of violence left two other men wounded.

The partially clothed body of a man in his early- to mid- 20s was discovered with "extreme trauma to the upper body" about 5 a.m. Saturday near the Inner Harbor, police said. The cause of his injuries was not immediately apparent, but police said that clothing was found on the roof of a nearby hotel and detectives were investigating whether the man had jumped or fallen.

In East Baltimore's Oliver neighborhood, 21-year-old Derian Hampton was found in the 1200 block of N. Caroline Street about 11 p.m. Friday, police said. He had suffered several gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A neighbor, who declined to give her name out of fear for her safety, said she had just returned home from the grocery store with her son when she heard gunfire.

"I heard shots and saw him lying in the street," the woman said.

Several people who identified themselves as friends and relatives of Hampton sat on the steps of a nearby home on which "no trespassing" signs had been posted. They declined to discuss Hampton or the shooting.

Neighbors said that the street, which contains a mixture of freshly rehabbed homes and vacant buildings, had been largely free of violence for the past several years. They said they were surprised that a shooting had occurred on their block.

Police investigated three other shootings late Friday and early Saturday.

About midnight, police received a report of a shooting victim who drove himself to an area hospital. The victim, a 35-year-old man, told officers he was shot during an attempted robbery at a gas station in the 4400 block of Park Heights Ave.

Police found a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound at 2:29 a.m. Saturday in the 1400 block of Poplar Grove St. in West Baltimore. The victim later died, police said. He was identified as Jermaine Blue, 30.

Police found another man suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg about 4 a.m. in the 1600 block of Hazel St. in Curtis Bay. He was taken to a hospital.

The identity of the man who was found near the downtown hotel remains a mystery. Police said he was not carrying any identification.

The downtown area has been packed with attendees at the annual Otakon convention, one of the largest anime conventions in the country.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said police initially responded to the 300 block of S. Charles St. after a caller reported hearing shots.

Guglielmi said homicide detectives canvassed the area for evidence of a shooting but found no shell casings. There were abrasions on his arms, often referred to as "road rash," the spokesman said, and police called the accident investigation unit.

"This is looking less and less like a shooting," Guglielmi said.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.

Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Dance contributed to this article.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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