Alfred Jerome Stewart, a morning drive-time personality for gospel radio station WWIN-AM, was shot to death late last night in what city police said appeared to be a drug-related slaying.
Mr. Stewart, 51, of the 8700 block of Mary Lane in Jessup, was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the back beside his Mercedes-Benz just south of Clifton Park.
Police were summoned there -- at a corner of Cliftview Avenue and Harford Road -- at 11:25 p.m. by reports of a shooting. Mr. Stewart was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene 12 minutes later, police said.
"It looks drug-related," Lt. Robert Stanton of the city homicide unit said today.
WWIN news director Glenda McCartney said station officials were told by police that several vials of white powder were found near Mr. Stewart's body. But Agent Doug Price, a city police spokesman, would not confirm that report.
No other injuries were reported and police have not determined a motive for the shooting, Agent Price said.
Ms. McCartney said everyone at the station was saddened by the killing of Mr. Stewart, a longtime area radio personality who had worked at WWIN for two years.
"He was just a wonderful, uplifting, inspirational type of guy," Ms. McCartney said. "I saw him for about 2 1/2 minutes an hour, but in his presence, you couldn't help but be happy."
After his 5 a.m to 10 a.m. air shift was over, Mr. Stewart worked part-time in the station's sales department, Ms. McCartney said.
Cathy Hughes, the Washington-based owner of WWIN and its sister station WWIN-FM, described Mr. Stewart as "a person who was loved by so many people here."
She arrived at the stations' Scarlett Place studios this morning after being informed of the slaying by an emergency phone call while she was conducting a talk show at one of two Washington stations she also owns.
Ms. Hughes, who bought the two stations earlier this year, noting that Mr. Stewart had help train many radio personalties in the Baltimore-Washington area, added, "I was so excited about working with Al."
The beginning of Mr. Stewart's tenure at WWIN in 1990 coincided with the station's change from an urban contemporary to a gospel format, said business manager Joyce Trigger.
"We went after him because he was a very well-known name [in local radio]," Ms. Trigger said. "The day he came was the day we went to gospel."
Before coming to WWIN, Mr. Stewart worked for gospel station WBGR and Morgan State University's WEAA, where he was general manager and a university instructor. He also taught at Coppin State University in the late 1970s and at the Community College of Baltimore in 1980.
Mr. Stewart's slaying was the 251st in Baltimore this year, 35 ahead of last year's pace, police said.