Baltimore police are investigating a spate of shootings that left five people wounded - two fatally - on Monday night and early yesterday in four apparently unrelated incidents.

Three of the shootings occurred within 40 minutes in East, West and North Baltimore, according to authorities.

The spike is unusual this year, which has been far less violent than recent years. There have been 126 homicides this year, compared with 182 by this date last year. This year, there have been 330 nonfatal shootings, compared with 441 last year.

The first of the recent shootings was reported at 9:23 p.m. at East North Avenue and North Wolfe Street, where an assailant shot a 24-year-old man in the chest and a girl in a leg.

The two were shot in front of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in the city's east side, near a corner where the sidewalks are littered with empty beer and liquor bottles.

The man, Brandon Eveline, 24, of the 5200 block of Kenilworth Ave., died about 10 p.m. at Johns Hopkins Hospital, according to police.

The girl was expected to survive, said spokesman Donny Moses.

The girl is associated with a gang, police said.

At 9:47 p.m., police in the Northern District responded to a shooting behind Walter P. Carter Elementary School in the 800 block of E. 43rd St. and found an unidentified man bleeding from at least one bullet wound to the head.

The man was shot just feet away from a pool, a playground and a basketball court behind the buildings; the shots reverberated through the neighborhood, according to two residents.

The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was in extremely critical condition, said Troy Harris, a police spokesman.

The next shooting was reported at 10:03 p.m. at West North Avenue and North Mount Street, where police in the Western District found a man who had been shot in the face. He was taken by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was in critical condition, Harris said.

No one in the neighborhood yesterday knew the victim. A few torn pieces of police crime scene tape were all that was left as indicators of the shooting.

A fifth person, Bernard Soloman, 23, of the 2400 block of Cylburn Ave., was shot and killed in the 2700 block of Manokin St. in the Westport neighborhood early yesterday.

Some people said they heard the shooting on the dead-end street.