A man was killed just blocks from Pimlico Race Course in Northwest Baltimore five days before the Preakness Stakes, and detectives were also investigating a man found fatally shot Tuesday morning on Greenmount Avenue, police said.
The 26-year-old Northwest Baltimore victim was shot about 10:42 p.m. in the 3000 block of Spaulding Avenue in Central Park Heights, three blocks from the race course where 130,000 people will converge Saturday for the middle jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown. The man was not identified, and no further details were released.
The Stronach Group, the Aurora, Ontario-based company that owns Pimlico, has cited crime in the blighted neighborhood and $300 million to $500 million in needed improvements to the 147-year-old race course in its desire to move the race from the city to a track in Laurel.
On Tuesday morning at about 9:30 a.m., police were called to the rear of the 2600 block of Greenmount Ave. where a man was found unresponsive behind a home. He appeared to be suffering from a gunshot wound, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The shooting may have occurred the night before, according to one neighbor, who did not want to give his name but said he heard a series of gunshots around 10 p.m. Monday.
Another man was critically injured in a separate shooting on the west side of the city Monday night. A 33-year-old "hack" — an unlicensed taxi — driver was shot in the right side of the torso in the 1700 block of North Fulton Avenue in Sandtown-Winchester after he was robbed by a man and a woman he had driven, police said.
Upon getting into the vehicle, the woman robbed the driver of his wallet and cellphone, and the man shot him, police said. The suspects ran away after the shooting, and the victim was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
Anyone with information in either case may call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.
Police on Tuesday also released the names of victims in two previous homicides.
Joshua Perry, 32, of the 7100 block of Windsor Mill Road was killed in the 3900 block of Maine Avenue in Central Forest Park on Thursday, police said. A woman who answered the phone at his home said she would pass along a message to Perry's family. It was not returned Tuesday morning.
Tomez Lee, 32, of the 3800 block of Brooklyn Avenue, was shot to death in the 1000 block of Washburn Avenue in Brooklyn on Monday, police said. No phone number was listed for Lee's home.
The city has had 128 homicides so far in 2017, an increase of 28 percent from the same time last year.
Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.