Shooting suspect Sterling Ford

Shooting suspect Sterling Ford (Handout photo courtesy Baltimore Police Department / November 1, 2013)

Three men were shot—two fatally—in two separate incidents that occurred within hours in the same East Baltimore neighborhood, police said.

The first shooting was reported about 1:10 p.m. in the 2000 block of Kennedy Ave. near Cecil Elementary School and north of Green Mount Cemetery in East Baltimore's Midway neighborhood. A police spokeswoman said one victim was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other was pronounced dead about 2 p.m. at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Police identified Baltimore residents Brian Michael Birden, 21, and Michael Anthony Carter, 24, as the victims in the shooting.

Later, just before 6 p.m., a 50-year-old man was reported shot and wounded in the 700 block of E. 21st St., just a few blocks west of the first incident, police said. Sterling Ford, 23, was arrested and faces charges of attempted murder and other drug and assault charges in connection with the attack.

Police are looking for two other suspects in connection with the incident.

The two attacks are not believed to be related at this point, police said.

Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts visited the Kennedy Avenue crime scene, talking to homicide commander Capt. Stanley Brandford. When the mother of the second victim arrived, she was driven to the hospital by a homicide supervisor.

The shootings occurred in the street, and detectives were crouched over evidence markers and what appeared to be clothing on the ground in front of a rowhouse. Onlookers said they knew the victims, but declined to comment.

Anyone with information was asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.

After 10 days to start the month without a homicide, 19 people have been killed in Baltimore during October, for a total of 195 this year.

Two of this month's cases are deaths resulting from attacks in previous years. The latest was the death of Michael Stewart, 38, who was shot in the 1900 block of N. Rosedale St. in the Walbrook neighborhood on June 3, 1998.

Stewart died Aug. 16 of this year of complications from the gunshot wounds, and his killing was added to this year's list of homicides, which is standard in such cases. A police spokesman said the case remains unsolved.

jfenton@baltsun.com