Deric Strickland was getting gas Saturday night when he heard a single gunshot. He didn’t think much of the gunfire in a city where more than 300 people are killed each year and hundreds more are shot.
Then, as Strickland pulled out of the Crown gas station on Bloomingdale Road in Northwest Baltimore, he saw a man laying on the ground. He recognized the shoes, the clothes and the wristwatch.
“I just knew,” Deric Strickland, 25, said.
The victim was his younger brother, Carter Strickland. The 24-year-old was the fifth person killed in shootings across a particularly violent Saturday. Police said seven others were injured.
Deric Strickland called 911 just before 11 p.m. and waited with his brother for an ambulance to arrive.
His mother is struggling with their loss, and Strickland said he himself remains in shock.
“I’m hanging in there. It’s not going to sink in until we bury him,” Strickland said.
But Stickland said he cannot shake the images of that night from his mind.
“It plays back every day and all day,” he said.
Deric Strickland said as boys, the brothers made plans to open a mechanic shop together, where Carter would work on cars, and Deric would paint them. He said his younger brother was an exceptional mechanic. His brother partially taught himself, learning from a family friend and watching videos on the Internet.
Deric Strickland said his brother earned money by fixing up older cars and reselling them. Recently, his brother contemplated starting a dealership of his own. He said the last conversation they had was about an Acura he recently traded for his old truck.
Strickland said his brother is the first close family member he has lost to violence.
“This is the city we live in,” he said of the violence. “But when it hits home, it hits home.”
Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Sunday that Strickland was shot in the head, and was pronounced dead at the scene. He said officers have yet to find a motive or any suspects in the Rosemont neighborhood shooting.
On Tuesday, police spokeswoman Detective Chakia Fennoy said investigators still did not have a motive and no arrests had been made.
Strickland’s death was part of a violent weekend that began Saturday shortly after 2 a.m. when police said three women — ages 23, 27 and 28 — were shot after an apparent argument at a social club on the corner of East Chase Street and North Patterson Park Avenue in East Baltimore.
Police said the 28-year-old woman died, but her name has not been released because the department has not yet notified family. Police said Sunday that they have identified a person of interest who is wanted for questioning.
Then Saturday afternoon, police went to the 1400 block of Broening Highway, also in East Baltimore, where officers found a man who had been shot. He later died, but police did not release his name. A person of interest was captured on CitiWatch surveillance video, police said.
Around 8 p.m., officers found a silver Mercedes-Benz that had been fired upon and had crashed in the 3400 block of Cliftmont Ave. in Belair-Edison. The driver was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Also Saturday night police said two male victims walked into Saint Agnes Hospital after a shooting was reported, which was later determined to have occurred the 100 block of N. Kossuth St.
Police said 21-year-old Samuel Green died, and the other victim, a 26-year-old man, suffered non-life threatening injuries. A man who answered at an addressed listed for Green said the family was still grieving and not prepared to talk to a reporter Tuesday.