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Ballistics tests link gun to slaying of city lawyer


Investigators say ballistics tests show they have recovered the handgun used May 28 to kill Baltimore lawyer Marvin Brent Cooper. But they said they are no closer to identifying a suspect.

A deliveryman dropping off flowers in the 4100 block of N. Charles St. found the gun June 29 on the lawn of a residence, said Officer Robert W. Weinhold, a police spokesman.

The lawn is about eight blocks from where Mr. Cooper, 46, was shot in the stomach by a robber as he was returning to his Oakenshawe home from a chess club meeting.

"We don't know how the gun got there, whether it was dropped by the killer or if it had changed hands before being dropped," Officer Weinhold said Wednesday. "Through our capabilities to test firearm-related evidence, we were able to determine this was the weapon used to murder Mr. Cooper."

The deliveryman gave the gun to the resident of the house, who called police. Because the caliber of the handgun matched that of the one used in the Cooper slaying, police ran ballistics tests and got a positiveatch.

Although the gun is a significant lead in the case, detectives said they still haven't identified a suspect and are hoping for help from the public.

"Anyone with any information about this weapon, or who dropped it, should call the homicide unit immediately," Officer Weinhold said, adding that Metro Crime Stoppers has offered a $6,000 reward for information leading to the killer's conviction.

Mr. Cooper had parked his car and was walking in the 200 block of Chancery Road, around the corner from his home, about 1:30 a.m. when he was approached by a robber. The robber took Mr. Cooper's wallet and shot him, police said.

Mr. Cooper, known as a quiet intellectual who ran a small law practice in South Baltimore that focused on commercial, bankruptcy and real estate law, made it to a nearby house and VTC rang the doorbell. He later died at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Anyone with information about the handgun, or the killing, is asked to call the homicide unit at 396-2100.

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