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Passing van opens fire 2 men killed 6 others wounded in drive-by shooting at Govans carryout


Two men were shot to death last night and six other people, including two females, were wounded when the occupants of a passing black van opened fire with semiautomatic weapons on a group of people standing outside a carryout in Baltimore's Govans section.

The drive-by shootings may have been the result of a neighborhood drug dispute, said homicide Detective Vernon Holley.

Detective Holley said that no drugs were found at the scene or on the victims but that information received from witnesses indicated the shootings were drug-related.

Several people were standing near the China Boy carryout in the 4000 block of Old York Road around 9:25 last night when the gunshots rang out from a black van occupied by at least two men.

Witnesses told police they heard what sounded like 30 rounds from semiautomatic handguns coming from the van just before it sped off.

One man died instantly.

The other died with the word "Nate" on his lips -- the name of TC friend he was talking to less than 10 minutes earlier.

A teen-age girl, a woman and a third man fell against a wall alongside the carryout, and a fourth man who ran from the scene was found sitting on a bench at Wilson Park, a playground nearby -- all with bullet wounds to their legs, police said.

A fifth man fell after being shot in the leg while attempting to flee the gunfire.

The sixth victim was found nearby. He was shot in the face, back and left leg.

The injured were taken to Johns Hopkins and Union Memorial hospitals, and all were expected to survive.

One of the dead men was identified as Kent Johnson, 34, of the 1700 block of Windemere Ave. The name of the other man who died was withheld pending notification of his family.

The wounded included a 16-year-old Cherry Hill girl whose name was withheld.

The others were identified as Stacey Branch, 29, a Cherry Hill resident whose address was not available; Thomas Jones, 33, of the 600 block of Dumbarton Ave.; Nathaniel Perry Phillips, 35, of the 800 block of Argonne Drive; Elroy Baker, 22, of the 600 block of N. Augusta Ave.; and Dawood Thomas, 19, of the 700 block of Cator Ave.

Clifford "Nate" Jones, 29, of the 600 block of Dumbarton, said he was returning to the group outside the carryout after talking to his girlfriend when he heard several shots.

"When I reached my two friends who died," Mr. Jones said, "one of them looked up into my face and asked me to help him."

Mr. Jones said before he could do anything, his friend's head slumped across the chest of the other victim and he died.

Police said no arrests had been made in the case and asked for the public's help in locating the van.

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