Rare shootings hit Charles Village, Lauraville

A 22-year-old man was shot in the leg on St. Paul Street in Charles Village early Thursday, just 50 feet from where a Johns Hopkins University researcher was fatally stabbed in a robbery last year.

Police said the shooting occurred during a robbery, one of two Thursday in city neighborhoods where gun violence is rare. The other occurred in Northeast Baltimore's Lauraville neighborhood just before 1 a.m., with a 33-year-old man shot in the abdomen during a robbery in the 2400 block of Ailsa Ave. He was in serious condition Thursday night.


The victim in the Charles Village shooting, a resident of Glenn Dale in Prince George's County, was leaving a friend's house about 5:40 a.m. when a man approached and announced a robbery. The assailant shot the man once in the upper leg and fled, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. It was not clear what was taken.

The victim, dressed in what appeared to be gray work clothes, was taken by ambulance to an undisclosed hospital. He was in serious but stable condition Thursday evening, police said..

At the scene, a police officer was later overheard telling a woman who lives a block away, "It was just a random act of violence."

Residents reported hearing two shots followed by the sound of a person running. Police closed St. Paul Street, a main rush-hour thoroughfare leading into downtown, until after 7 a.m.

A police officer pulled down the yellow tape marking the shooting scene minutes before parents and students began arriving at Margaret Brent Elementary School across the street. The incident occurred on a sidewalk between a house and the Normandie Apartment building.

Many students from nearby Johns Hopkins live in off-campus housing in the area; a Hopkins shuttle bus was picking up students a block away as detectives finished their investigation.

Steps from the police tape, someone recently had put up a new memorial to the slain Hopkins researcher, 23-year-old Stephen Pitcairn, placing a bouquet of pink and white roses next to a tree.

Pitcairn was attacked at knifepoint in July 2010 as he walked to his Charles Village home from Penn Station, talking to his mother on a cellphone. In August, his killer was found guilty of first-degree murder and could receive life in prison when sentenced this month.

The killing outraged city residents in the midst of a contentious election campaign for the city state's attorney's office. Challenger Gregg L. Bernstein said the state's attorney had failed to adequately prosecute Pitcairn's attackers for previous crimes and unseated longtime incumbent Patricia C. Jessamy.