It was about 8 p.m. Tuesday when gunfire erupted in a quiet neighborhood outside of Annapolis.
Some neighbors thought the shots were firecrackers, commonly heard in the streets off Bay Highlands Drive.
Then they heard a car speed away. A short time later, police cars, ambulances and a helicopter arrived.
Shannon Blair, Jr., 29, of Annapolis, had been shot and killed in the street near a park on Washington Avenue, not far from Bay Highlands Drive and Arundel on the Bay Road. His death was ruled a homicide. No arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.
Blair is not from the community where he was found, so detectives continue to investigate why he was there, police said.
The incident has shocked the normally quiet neighborhood.
"The most we've had around here are bicycles being stolen, little petty things, but nothing like this," said Kevin Langston, who has lived near the park for more than 20 years.
Langston said he saw two men in the park that he didn't recognize about a half-hour before the shooting. He was about to take his dog, a mutt named Roy, for a walk when the shots rang out. He estimated it was six to 10 shots.
"It sounded very deliberate," he said. "Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. Then I heard a car speed off."
Police and paramedics arrived and blocked off the street. Officers and K-9 units searched the neighborhood. A helicopter flew overhead.
"The road was lit up like a disco," Langston said.
Sara Pula, who has lived near the park for 10 years, said she was "very on edge" Wednesday morning because of the shooting.
"We have a lot of young children back here," she said.
Pula said the Bay Highlands Community Association, which is very active, most likely will have a meeting about the incident. She said neighbors began seeing vagabonds in the area last year.
Other neighbors Wednesday said they suspected drug deals were taking place at the park.
One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she was putting her children to bed when the shots rang out. The woman said she recognized the sound as gunfire, but when one of her children asked about the noise, she told the child it was firecrackers. She said she heard four or five shots.
"It was awful," she said.
Walter and Tricia Pletcher, who have lived near the park for 18 years, said they heard five to eight shots ring out, then called police and a sheriff's deputy who lives nearby.
"It was very quick, very rapid," Tricia said.
The couple turned on their lights and moved their son away from the front of the house, away from any potentially stray bullets.
When the Pletchers saw flashing lights at the end of their street, they walked down and saw paramedics working on Blair. Dozens of police officers were on the scene, searching the surrounding area.
"You have a homicide a quarter-mile from your house, of course you're concerned," Walter said.
Detectives continue to conduct interviews. Several police cars were at the scene Wednesday morning. A portion of Washington Avenue near the park was blocked by police tape.
Investigators collected several items of "evidentiary value," police said.
Blair's death is the ninth homicide in the county this year. There also has been one in the city of Annapolis. There were 14 homicides in the county last year.
Several people were gathered late Wednesday morning at Blair's home in the Parole section of Annapolis. His family declined to speak with a reporter.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the department's tip line at 410-222-4700.