A 23-year-old Northeast Baltimore man who served in the Marines was shot and killed Sunday evening in Brooklyn, the latest in a wave of recent violence in the South Baltimore neighborhood.
Andrew Zachary was killed around 5 p.m Sunday while walking home from a store, police said. Investigators believe he may have gotten into an argument, but a motive is unknown.
Baltimore's former planning director and mayoral candidate Otis Rolley confirmed Zachary was his nephew and said the family is reeling.
"My heart is just broken," Rolley said, struggling to hold back tears. "He's not a statistic. He's a person. He was a father and a husband, and a nephew, and a son, and a grandson."
Zachary's Facebook page contained numerous references to the Marine Corps, as well as photos of him in uniform and overseas. Zachary joined the Marine Corps after high school, according to Rolley, who said it gave his nephew a sense of purpose.
"He said he really felt that he was doing good, that he was a real man as a Marine," Rolley said. He recalled a conversation with Zachary in which he said, "I get it now."
"He was just really excited about serving his country and doing right by his family. … I just can't believe he's not here."
Rolley said Zachary was discharged after being injured, but continued working overseas as a contractor. He was working at a gun range after returning home, Rolley said.
He was in the Brooklyn neighborhood visiting a friend at the time of his death, Rolley said.
"It wasn't even a thought for somebody to take his life. Now his daughter will not have a father," Rolley said.
Court records show Zachary was out on $100,000 bail at the time of his death after being charged with attempted murder in early December in Baltimore County in connection with a shooting. Police alleged in charging documents that Zachary shot a Florida sports bike dealer who had responded to an ad for a motorcycle placed by Zachary on Craiglist. The victim said after the transaction, he saw Zachary approach his vehicle holding a gun, and he said he was shot as he accelerated away from the scene.
Zachary did not have an attorney listed in court records, but Rolley said Zachary told family that he had shot the man in self-defense. Police said Zachary legally owned a 9 mm handgun.
Rolley said funeral arrangements for Zachary were still in the works.
Anyone with information about his killing was asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.
Brooklyn has seen a spike in gun violence in recent months, including a series of shootings along the South Hanover Street corridor. Zachary was shot in the 800 block of Clintwood Ct., in the Brooklyn Homes area.