Kevin Gipson spent his final day advocating for friends as they fought to stay at a homeless camp under the Jones Falls Expressway. The next morning, police found him dead in what they believe to be an unrelated incident.
Once a resident of the small shantytown of tents between the northbound JFX and the Fallsway, Gipson, 43, had spoken to The Baltimore Sun Friday about the city's plans to raze the encampment. He said he had moved into a Park Heights medical facility but had left his tent behind for friends.
At 5 a.m. Saturday, Baltimore police, investigating reports of gunfire, found Gipson lying in the road in the 1100 block of Barclay St. Multiple gunshot wounds pierced his torso, police said. Paramedics drove him to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:26 a.m.
His identity was not made public until Wednesday.
Last Friday, while visiting those friends, he defended the camp, which the city deemed a nuisance and safety hazard because of alleged drug use and lack of supervision.
"You might live in the dirt … but at least you have peace," Gipson said.
Gipson's last known address was in the first block of Ballman Court in Brooklyn Park.
Laurie Yockey, his cousin, didn't know much about his last few years. But, she said, he was known as the "happy-go-lucky of the family."
"He took what life gave him and tried to make the best of things," she said. "He was a good person, had a good heart."
Gipson's mother has scheduled his funeral for Tuesday in South Carolina, Yockey said.
Police have no suspects in Gipson's shooting, which was one of six homicides in Baltimore over the weekend.
On Wednesday, police also released the name of David Womack, 22, who was discovered fatally shot early Monday in the 2900 block of Mosher St. He lived in the 1100 block of Carrollton Ave., police said. There are no suspects in his case either.
twitter.com/justingeorgeCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun