Eight people were shot early today when at least two gunmen armed with large-caliber handguns fired more than a dozen shots into a crowded intersection across the street from the state penitentiary.
At least 15 bullets were fired at 2:15 a.m., sending a crowd gathered at the corner of East Eager Street and Greenmount Avenue scurrying for shelter and many victims, all bystanders ages 20 through 37, into nearby houses seeking help.
One victim, Louis Anthony Flower, 21, of the 4800 block of Calumet Ave., was shot in the head and was listed in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
The other victims were listed in good condition at Baltimore hospitals early today while a teen-ager was injured by shattered glass, police said.
Police arrested a 29-year-old suspect this morning, said spokesman Robert W. Weinhold Jr. His name was being withheld pending charges.
Officer Weinhold said the shootings apparently were sparked by an argument, but neighbors said this morning that their community has been besieged by drug dealers and violence.
"They are always shooting -- that's all they got to do is shoot each other for that white powder," said Nick Brown, who sat in a car at the scene. "Ain't got nothing else to do but shoot each
The shootings occurred about 100 feet south of the Club Volcano, in the 1000 block of Greenmount Ave.
Police Capt. Gary D'Addario said a large group of people had gathered on the street after the club closed. He said the night spot had nothing to do with the shooting, "other than the fact the club was the gathering spot for the evening."
Police said empty shell casings found at the intersection indicated that at least two semiautomatic handguns were used and that the gunmen chased their targets before the bullets found their marks.
"We had injured people all over the place," said a policeman.
The victims were: Gary Brewington, 37, 3600 block of Chesterfield Ave.; Michael Brantley, 35, of the 3100 block of Ravenwood Ave.; Martin Jenkins, 22, of the 1800 block of Barclay St.; Elaine Robinson, 20, of the first block Bishop Gate Ct.; Aries Handy, 20, of the 1000 Valley St.; Lisa Adams, 22, of the 2000 block N. Charles St., and Michelle Murphy, 24, of the 2800 block of Raynor Ave.
Lashana Williams, 18, of the 3700 block Fieldstone Rd. was injured by shattered auto glass when a bullet pierced the window of a car she was in, police said.
Today, shell casings on the sidewalk were circled in chalk by detectives while a colorful earring lay next to a huge blood stain on the corner.
"The drug dealers start to shoot for no reason," said 15-year-old David Jones, a junior at Dunbar High School who lives in the community. "I am afraid. It gets so crazy I don't want to go nowhere. So many things happen out here."