Shooting sends murder toll for year to 137


Baltimore's murder toll rose to 137 yesterday -- 18 higher than the same time last year -- when a 20-year-old man was shot on an East Baltimore street.

Jerome Griffin, 20, of the 1000 block of N. Chapel St. was fatally wounded at 12:27 a.m. in the 2300 block of E. Biddle St.

Police discovered the victim lying on the sidewalk bleeding from a bullet wound to the chest.

He was taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died in the emergency room, police said.

Police had not established a motive for the slaying, and no arrests had been made.

Meanwhile, police released the identity of one of the two men slain Wednesday night in a drug-related shooting in East Baltimore.

The victim, Devon Leach, a 25-year-old Jamaican national with no known address here, suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

The other victim is believed to be a 23-year-old Jamaican national, said Doug Price, a police spokesman.

The shootings occurred at 10:16 p.m. in the 5600 block of Sinclair Lane. Witnesses told police that a man walked up to the victims and opened fire with an automatic weapon.

The unidentified man fell to the street, and Mr. Leach fled. Police found his body a short distance from the shooting scene.

No arrests have been made in connection with the slayings, police said.

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