Terrance Gough bought a king-size mattress, unpacked his clothes and arranged the bedroom in his uncle's Southwest Baltimore home just the way he liked it.
The 26-year-old never got a chance to sleep in the bed, however: he was gunned down the next afternoon at an intersection around the corner, one of 11 people added to the city's growing list of homicide victims over the past nine days.
"That was the first night he was going to stay here," said Gough's uncle, Andre Foote, 44. "He was shot twice, once in the heart, once in the lung. He was liked by everybody. No one understands why it happened."
Thursday's fatal shooting, along with a deadly stabbing that occurred about a mile south on Friday morning, pushed the number of killings this year in the city's Southwestern Police District to 23, the most of any of the city's nine police districts.
The district stretches from West Baltimore to the Baltimore County line in Catonsville, and while the number of homicides this year is relatively high, it pales in comparison to the 50 that were killed there in 1998. Concerned by the action plan to address this year's shootings, Police Department leadership reassigned the district's commanders earlier this month.
As of Friday afternoon, 139 people had been killed in Baltimore this year, compared with 136 at the same point last year.
Police say Gough was sitting on a bike about 4:30 p.m. at North Athol Avenue and Mountview Road, a quiet area just north of a sprawling nursing home and Mount Saint Joseph High School, when an unknown gunman opened fire, striking him in the head and chest. He died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center a short time later.
Foote said Gough was moving into the home where his family has lived for decades after moving out of his girlfriend's place on Pennsylvania Avenue. He grew up in the city's now-defunct Murphy Homes public housing development and hoped to make a career out of rapping, using the moniker "Twitty Sparks."
"It's just senseless. Somebody took him for no reason," said his mother, Tanya Foote.
About 11 a.m. Friday, police were called to the 600 block of Brisbane Road to investigate a fatal stabbing.
Neighbors said they were told that a man was attacked by his teenage daughter's boyfriend during an argument inside a home, an account confirmed by police. The suspect fled on foot.
At the scene two hours later, one of the Police Department's new helicopters was seen circling overhead, scanning for possible evidence. The Yale Heights neighborhood where the stabbing occurred has a suburban feel, with occupied homes with lawns. Children rode past on bicycles as detectives conferred on the sidewalk and searched a nearby field.
The previously disclosed death of a 41-year-old woman found in a Charles Village apartment in July also was added to the city's homicide count Friday after the medical examiner's office determined the victim had been asphyxiated.
Police visited the apartment, in the 100 block of W. 29th St., on July 21 for a report of a foul odor and were met by the leaseholder, 67-year-old Marvin White, who questioned why police were there and said he had not called 911, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. The body of Kristie Hufnagel, 41, was found in a bedroom.
Detectives observed what appeared to be evidence to conceal the smell, including air fresheners and rolled up towels that were placed against the bottom of the door, police said.
White told police that Hufnagel, who lived in another apartment on the same floor, had come to his apartment earlier in the week so they could use cocaine together, Guglielmi said.
Police found drug residue and arrested White on drug charges, and he remains in jail on $30,000 bond. He did not appear to have any prior arrests, according to the state's judiciary database.
The medical examiner initially was unable to determine a cause of death, but on Friday informed police that the death had been ruled a homicide by asphyxiation.
White has not been charged in the death, but remains a person of interest, police said. "He was inside the house with the body for a period of some time," Guglielmi said. "Detectives are questioning him in reference to the incident."
The mixed-income building, known as the Wyman House, has 168 efficiency and one-bedroom apartments and is owned by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.