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Triple shooting in councilman's neighborhood amid weekend violence

By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

9:37 PM EDT, July 1, 2013

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A triple shooting took place late Sunday in the neighborhood of City Councilman Brandon Scott, who a day later said the incident filled residents with “despair and sadness.”

None of the men shot in Northeast Baltimore’s Frankford neighborhood died, and the city saw one homicide over the weekend as police significantly stepped up patrols after a week that saw 36 people shot and 16 killed. But even with the added enforcement, seven people were shot from Friday through early Monday morning, and three more shootings were reported during the day and evening Monday.

On Twitter and later in an interview, Scott pointed out the contrast between the violent incident in his neighborhood and a community event featuring Orioles players that took place earlier in the weekend.

“The day before, there was excitement and joy with 300 kids out playing with their role models, and the next day the neighborhood's full of despair and sadness,” Scott said. “An incident like that shows how much work has to be done to make the city safe, including at the individual and family level.”

The shooting, about 11:20 p.m., originally was reported in the 4800 block of Hamilton Ave., but an investigation showed the crime scene was in the 5800 block of Moores Run Court in Cedonia.

About two hours later, a shooting was reported at 1:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Linnard St. in the Edgewood neighborhood. Officers found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He told police that he was sitting on a front porch when an unidentified suspect walked over and shot him. The suspect then fled on foot, the man said.

Police did not have a description for the suspect or motive. Detectives are investigating the shooting.

Three other shootings that were not expected to be fatal were reported Monday, according to police.

About 3:30 p.m., a woman was shot near the intersection of Alhambra Avenue and Willow Avenue near Willow Avenue Park. About 4:15 p.m., a man was shot in the 200 block of South Tremont Road in Southwest Baltimore. About 8:30 p.m., a man was shot near the intersection of Madison Avenue and McMechen Street in the Madison Park neighborhood and ran to a firehouse nearby. All the victims were taken to hospitals for treatment, and few other details were available.

Police also identified several recent homicide victims:

Joshua Billingsley, 26, was identified as the man fatally shot about 5 a.m. Friday in the 900 block of Bennett Place. Billingsley’s last known address was in the 1300 block of Harlem Ave. He is the third person killed this year in the area of North Fremont Avenue and Bennett Place.

Andre Cox, 33, and Corey Gibson, whose date of birth was not disclosed, were identified as the two men fatally shot in a triple shooting about 1 a.m. Thursday in the 2900 block of W. North Ave.

Court records show Cox and another man had been charged in 2009 with the 2007 kidnapping and killing of 21-year-old Kwame Osafo, who was found dead in Leakin Park with his head wrapped in duct tape and covered in blood. The charges against Cox were dropped in early 2011. His attorney at the time could not be reached for comment.

On Monday, the Police Department announced that it was elevating one of its top commanders and creating a third deputy commissioner position, continuing a restructuring of the agency by Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts. Dean Palmere, a 23-year veteran, was named deputy commissioner for the patrol bureau, with John Skinner remaining a deputy commissioner but narrowing his focus to oversee intelligence and investigations.

In a statement, Batts said the creation of two top-level positions “will ease the burden that was previously placed on one senior commander and will allow us to further sharpen our focus on gangs and guns, while improving our clearance rates and intelligence-sharing.”