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3 killed in city over weekend 1993 homicide toll increases to 78


Three people were killed in the city over the weekend, including two people shot in unrelated incidents a few blocks apart in Northwest Baltimore and an unidentified woman who apparently was strangled before her body was dumped in Leakin Park, police reported.

The latest incident, shortly past 1 a.m. yesterday, claimed the life of 16-year-old Jonathan Butcher, who was gunned down as he walked out of a rowhouse six doors from his home in the 2600 block of Keyworth Ave.

Police said the youth and a companion, Tavon Davis, 18, were sprayed with gunfire by two men armed with large-caliber handguns. The Butcher youth collapsed in the street, and his friend fell on a sidewalk.

The Butcher youth's mother heard the gunshots and ran outside, only to see her son lying on the ground in front of a neighborhood church and two gunmen running away, said Agent Doug Price, a police spokesman.

The youth was dead at the scene from multiple wounds, while Mr. Davis of the 2600 block of W. Lafayette Ave. was shot in the leg and listed in critical condition last night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Sgt. Gary Dunnigan, a homicide investigator, said the shooting may have resulted from a dispute over a girl hours earlier.

On Saturday night, a few blocks away, 38-year-old Thomas Drake was shot to death as an unknown killer opened fire on a group of people standing in the 4100 block of Pimlico Road.

Police suspect the incident was drug-related.

Mr. Drake of the 2600 block of Oswego Ave. was hit several times and was declared dead at the scene of the 7:45 p.m. attack, police said.

About 7 a.m. yesterday, a man walking on the edge of Leakin Park, near the 4700 block of Wetheredsville Road, found the body of an unidentified woman who appeared to have been strangled, police said.

Sergeant Dunnigan said police believe the woman was killed Saturday night.

She was black, appeared to be in her mid-20s and was wearing a purple two-piece jogging suit with white trim and white shoes.

She had a gold wedding or engagement ring with a diamond on her left hand and two earrings in one ear, police said.

Agent Price said the incidents raised Baltimore's 1993 homicide toll to 78 -- slightly ahead of the pace in 1992 when a record 335 people were killed in the city.

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