Man stabbed at Fallsway shelter dies of injuries

Baltimore police say a man who was stabbed early Sunday at the entrance of the city's 24-hour emergency shelter has died.

The adult male was seriously injured about 5:45 a.m., according to officials. In a statement, police spokesman Detective Vernon Davis said the man had been taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, "but despite medical effort, he succumbed to his injuries." Police have not identified the victim.

Police said preliminary investigation suggested the victim and another person had an argument inside the shelter. Police said they have "optimistic leads" in the case.

More than 300 men and women were evacuated from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Housing and Resource Center, in the 600 block of the Fallsway, for about 45 minutes while police responded and began their investigation, said shelter officials.

"Our first concern is to make sure everyone is taken care of and to make sure they're comfortable," said Linda Boyer, executive director of Jobs, Housing and Recovery, the program contracted by the city to run the shelter.

Boyer declined to discuss details of the incident, referring questions to police.

Outside the shelter, dozens were gathered. Robert Cook, a 52-year-old man who said he has stayed at the shelter for three years, said many of those at the facility feel vulnerable and unsafe. He said the shelter should have 24-hour police presence.

"By the time the police come, they're gone," he said of perpetrators.

Boyer said individuals are searched every time they enter the building as a safety precaution.

Tony Brown, 51, said Saturday was his third night in the shelter after being evicted from his home last week. The stabbing makes him uneasy.

"It keeps me alert. Somebody snapped," he said. "I've go to keep my eyes open."

Earlier this month, the city cleared an encampment near the Jones Falls Expressway where as many as 18 people lived. The men and women at the encampment said they refused to stay at the shelter because of safety concerns and sanitation issues.

City officials had said the encampment was a safety hazard, with open fires and the threat of violence. Advocates have demanded an alternative plan for such encampments; creation of such a plan is under debate.

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