Violent night ends lull in Baltimore violence

Three men died of gunshot wounds and another person was stabbed to death late Friday, ending a New Year's lull in which Baltimore had seen shootings but no killings.

Police identified the first fatal victim of gun violence in 2013 as 18-year-old Darius Shields. Officers responded to a shooting shortly before 8 p.m. in the 500 block of E. Patapsco Ave. in the Brooklyn neighborhood and found Shields with a gunshot wound to his chest, police said.

Medics took him to Shock Trauma, but he was pronounced dead at 8:29 p.m., police said.

Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said there did not appear to be any link between Shields' death and the other killings in the city but that homicide detectives are continuing to investigate all the incidents.

"Neighborhoods can expect increased visibility of uniformed police on the streets," he added in an email. "Shift changes will be done on the street and the special enforcement section [plainclothes officers] will be sent to targeted areas for some proactive enforcement."

A few hours after the Brooklyn shooting, officers were called for reports of gunshots in the 2300 block of W. Lanvale St., police said. An officer found Delroy Davis, 20, lying face up between two homes with multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, police said. He was also taken to Shock Trauma and pronounced dead there.

Then in the early hours of Saturday, a patrol officer in the 200 block of N. Franklintown Road came across a parked black Toyota Camry with the front doors wide open, police said, and its windshield and windows riddled with bullet holes.

Two men inside had each been shot multiple times, according to police. One of them, identified as Tavone Pierson, was declared dead at Shock Trauma, police said. The other man has not been identified.

Lt. Col. Darryl DeSousa said police think the shooting followed an argument inside Levels Bar and Grill, which spilled outside.

Police believe another man shot at the pair before fleeing the scene in a green Honda Accord with a partner.

Additionally, police said, someone was stabbed in the 5400 block of York Road outside a liquor store and was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital shortly after midnight. Officers responding to the scene apprehended a suspect, police said.

Earlier in the evening a 19-year-old man whom officers have not identified was shot in the leg and taken to an area hospital, where police said he is in good condition.

Previously, there had been about a dozen non-fatal shootings in the city in 2013 and no shooting homicides. In the last four years, the average ratio of non-fatal to fatal shootings has been a little more than 2-1.