Murder Ink 3/29/17: 5 murders this week, 76 murders this year

Almost as many people were arrested and charged with murder this week as were murdered. That almost never happens. Police also shot a man who was allegedly threatening two children with a butcher knife.

Wednesday, March 22


4:15 a.m. Alphonza Watson, a 38-year-old African-American transgender woman, was on the 2400 block of Guilford Avenue when someone shot her in the stomach. She died soon after at Johns Hopkins hospital. Neighbors heard her screaming for help and then gunshots and reportedly saw two African-American men run to a vehicle and speed away. Watson resided on the 2000 block of N. Charles Street.

Friday, March 24

4:45 p.m. Melvin Chisholm, a 40-year-old African-American man, was on the 2400 block of Greenmount Avenue when someone shot him more than once. Medics got him to a hospital, where he died. Police believe Chisholm got into an argument with someone, who then shot him. He had resided on the 2000 block of E. Jefferson Street.

Sunday, March 26

3:10 a.m. Victorious Swift, a 19-year-old African-American man, was near the intersection of Reisterstown Road and Tioga Parkway when someone shot him more than once. Police and medics came and got him to a hospital, where he died soon afterward. Police say Swift resided on the 3500 block of Reisterstown Road, a few blocks north of where he fell.

10:50 p.m. A 36-year-old man who police have not yet further identified was stabbed to death during an altercation with family members in a home on the 3900 block of Woodridge Road. Police say "a female" stabbed him, and they took the her, who they have also not identified publicly, into custody.

Monday, March 27

1:15 p.m. A man who police have not yet identified publicly was on the 2400 block of Reisterstown Road when someone shot him multiple times in the body. Police found him there and medics took him to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Antonio Tyrell Wright turned himself in to police on March 20. He was charged with murder in the March 18 firebombing of a home on the 1200 block of Greenmount Avenue. Wright's lawyer told reporters he has an alibi, but Wright, who police had dubbed Public Enemy Number 1, was held without bail.

Also on March 20, a Warrant Apprehension Task Force arrested Richard Jones, 29, on the 2800 block of Boarman Avenue. Jones was charged with murder in the Feb. 3 shooting death of Lawrence Jones, a 25-year-old African-American man. Police say the Jones had an ongoing dispute.

On March 23 the Warrant Apprehension Task Force arrested Keeco Stern, age 28, on the 3200 block of Loch Raven Boulevard. Police say Stern fled, kicked open the door of a stranger's house, and assaulted the woman who lived there before being arrested. Stern is charged with murder in the January 25 shooting death of Lennell Reece Booker, a 27-year-old African-American man. He is also charged with burglary and assault stemming from the foot chase with detectives. Stern faced murder conspiracy charges in 2012 but was found not guilty, according to online court records.

On March 24 at about 6:45 a.m. police were called to a house on the 1000 block of N. Fulton Avenue, where they found Reno Joseph Owens Jr., age 39, holding what police described as a large butcher knife on a four-year-old girl and one-year-old boy, both of whom were relatives. Others in the house allegedly told police that Owens was homeless and had stayed the night, but was on drugs. A SWAT team arrived and shot Owens to death at about 7:45. Police said Officer Zachary Wein, the 14-year veteran who fired the shot, was put on routine administrative duty following the shooting. The SWAT team reportedly had body cameras running during the incident.

The headline originally contained the wrong numbers for this week's Murder Ink. It has been updated with the correct totals.