UMBC student among four fatally shot in Baltimore from Sunday into Monday, police say

A suspect drove off after mentioning money and shooting 27-year-old man in the neck in Baltimore.

A 22-year-old student and former swimmer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County was fatally shot in Southwest Baltimore on Sunday, according to city police.

Detectives believe Jackson Bleier, a Federal Hill resident and fifth-year student at UMBC, may have been in the Yale Heights neighborhood to buy drugs and was shot while trying to drive off, police said. Police said that assessment was based on a preliminary investigation, but would not elaborate.

"As the victim attempted to drive away, an unknown suspect fired into the victim's car, striking him in the torso and causing him to crash his car," police said.

Detective Donny Moses, a police spokesman, said Bleier used to live near the scene and was "no stranger to" the area around the 600 block of Yale Ave., where he was found about 5:20 p.m. in his Jeep suffering from a gunshot wound.

Moses said no drugs were found in Bleier's vehicle. Bleier died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The Yale Heights neighborhood is about two miles from the UMBC campus.

Moses said police did not have any suspects in the shooting as of Monday afternoon but planned to conduct routine canvassing in the neighborhood to try to find more information. Bleier's family, of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., could not be reached for comment.

Bleier described himself on Instagram as a former Division I swimmer at UMBC, citing fitness and "Jeep life" among his interests. He posted images of himself working out and off-roading in his Jeep.

His collegiate swim career concluded at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, the university said. His profile on the UMBC swimming website, from his junior year, describes him as a 6-foot-7, 220-pound sociology major who swam freestyle and backstroke.

In a statement, UMBC said it was "saddened" by the news from police of Bleier's death. "We extend our deepest sympathy to Jackson's family and friends during this incredibly difficult time," the university said.

The university said support resources for UMBC students are available at the UMBC Counseling Center.

Bleier's shooting was one of several in the city from Sunday into Monday.

Police responded at 1:15 a.m. Sunday to the 2900 block of Echodale Avenue in Hamilton Hills, where they found 27-year-old man shot in the neck. He was transported to an area hospital and is expected to survive, police said.

Police said a suspect "drove up and made a statement about money before shooting the victim" while he was standing in the neighborhood, police said. The suspect then drove west on Echodale Avenue.

"Officers were able to catch up with him, rendered aide and called for a medic," police said.

A second victim, 38-year-old Darnell Poole, was found on nearby St. Cloud Avenue with gunshot wounds to the chest, police said. Poole was transported to Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

About 1:15 a.m. Monday, officers were directed to a parking lot in the 2600 block of W. Patapsco Ave. in Dorchester Heights, and found an unidentified man suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper torso, police said. The man died a short time later at Johns Hopkins Hospital, police said.

About 1:55 p.m. Monday, a woman was found shot in the 4500 block of Manorview Road, in the city's Uplands neighborhood. She was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

About the same time, officers responded to another shooting across town, in the 2600 block of Robb Street in the city's Coldstream Homestead Montebello neighborhood. There they located an unidentified man suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

A 17-year-old boy was also shot in the arm by a man wearing a "ninja" mask and a black hoodie on Monday around 6:15 p.m. in the 2000 block of West Pratt Street. The boy is expected to survive.

Anyone with information about any of the shootings is asked to call detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers.

krector@baltsun.com

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