A man was killed and a woman was injured Thursday afternoon in a Southwest Baltimore corner store, marking the city's 10th homicide in the first nine days of the year.
The shooting took place just before 3 p.m. at the Latino Deli and American Grocery at Christian and South Smallwood streets in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood. Neighbors said the store was operated by a man everyone called "Papi."
Police have not identified the victims, but neighbors said the store operator and two of his relatives were in the store when the shots were fired.
Baltimore homicide investigators are trying to determine whether the store was being robbed.
"It's in the preliminary stages of an investigation," said Sgt. Sarah Connolly, a police spokeswoman. "It could have been a robbery or it could be an altercation."
Three people who identified themselves as relatives of the store operator said they were told two members of their family were the victims. They said the woman was shot in the shoulder, and they declined to provide their names.
Police confirmed that both victims were associated with the store. The woman was being treated at an area hospital Wednesday night, Connolly said.
Police said there may be two suspects in the shooting. Two blocks from the crime scene, four plainclothes officers detained one man before releasing him after a few minutes.
A few streets over, another officer lined up several youths against a wall near the NY Fried Chicken carryout in the 2200 block of W. Pratt St. Connolly said she didn't know whether either instance was tied to a search for suspects.
Children were coming home from school when gunshots were fired, said residents who live near the corner store, which was surrounded by crime tape as investigators went in and out.
"The crossing guard was still on this corner," said Gloria Hudson, who lives a block away. "You have your crime and stuff here, but something like this has never happened before."
Homicides were down 22 percent last year in the Southwestern District compared with 2012, police statistics show. Thursday's shooting drew top police commanders to the crime scene, including the district's major, who commands officers in the area, and Deputy Commissioner John Skinner.
The homicide follows a killing in Northeast Baltimore on Wednesday night. Police said Marvin Lee McGowan, 30, was found fatally shot in a car about 10:20 p.m. in the 5300 block of Eastbury Ave. Police have announced no suspects in that shooting.
Last year, 235 homicides occurred in Baltimore, the highest number in four years and an increase of 8 percent over 2012.
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