Four men were shot to death last night and four others were wounded in a spate of gunfire throughout Baltimore that kept homicide detectives scurrying into the wee hours.
The shootings produced one of the bloodiest nights in the city this year, police said, and brought the murder count to 211 victims. Last year at this time, there were 250 homicide victims.
"It was a jumping night," said Capt. Howard F. Parrott, commander of the homicide unit. "But it hasn't been that way. It's been quiet, a homicide every other night for the past week or so."
No arrests had been made in any of the shootings this morning, said Officer Rob Weinhold, a police spokesman.
Captain Parrott said that interrogation rooms were overflowing with witnesses throughout the night and that detectives had to usher interviewees into rooms in the robbery unit and pawn shop division to learn details of the numerous crime scenes.
Two homicide detectives who begin work at midnight were summoned one hour early to help out, said Col. Ronald L. Daniel, head of the criminal investigation unit.
"It was a busy night, yes it was," Colonel Daniel said. "Probably four homicides in one night is a bit unusual, but we didn't have to run up the flag or anything. It was manageable."
The first murder was discovered by Southwestern District police at 8:55 p.m. in the 500 block of N. Denison St. near Edmondson Avenue.
Clinton M. Carter, 37, of the 3500 block of Franklin St., was found lying in a gutter, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head. Police said Mr. Carter had a plastic bag containing what appeared to be crack cocaine in his possession and his tennis shoes were taken off and placed near the body.
The next killing occurred shortly before 10 p.m. when Garrett Washington, 42, of the 1700 block of N. Gay St., was standing near his home with two individuals. Police said an unidentified gunman approached and opened fire with a semiautomatic handgun, hitting Mr. Washington in the torso. He staggered home and died in his living room, Officer Weinhold said.
The other homicides occurred in the 2700 block of Monument St. at 10:30 p.m. when an unidentified gunman approached two teen-agers on bicycles and opened fire.
Pronounced dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds was Gregory McGraw, 19, of the 600 block of N. Kenwood Ave., who had a pager and $45 in cash in his pocket. The second victim, Kevin Green, 18, of the 2700 block of Monument St., died a short time later at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Also wounded was Larry Ray Jr., 22, of the 2700 block of E. Monument St., who was shot once in the torso. He was listed in good condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital today.
The triple shooting on Monument Street was in the same area that police targeted in July in a massive raid aimed at clearing the streets of drug activity.
The neighborhood, which surrounds Johns Hopkins Hospital, was called the second most violent community in the city. Ironically, police said just hours before the double slaying yesterday that crime had dropped 20 percent since the crackdown, which netted more than 40 arrests, four on murder charges.
While homicide detectives investigated the murders, district police probed two other shootings that left three men wounded.
At 8:20 p.m., police found James Foster, 33, of the 1100 block of Braddish Ave., seated behind the wheel of a 1987 Oldsmobile parked in the 5000 block of Denmore Ave. in Pimlico with gunshot wounds to the chest, right arm and buttocks. He was taken to Sinai Hospital and was listed in critical condition.
A passenger in the car, Clifton Boney, 29, of the Westmont Apartments in the first block of Brubar Court in Baltimore County, was shot in the upper right leg but managed to run from the car before collapsing in the 3300 block of W. Garrison Ave. He was listed in good condition at Sinai Hospital.
Witnesses told police that a teen-age boy armed with a small-caliber handgun was seen running away from the scene.
At 7:30 p.m., Arnell Lee, 21, of the 2200 block of Mount Holly St., was walking with his cousin in the 1900 block Ridgehill Ave. when gunfire erupted. Mr. Lee was shot once in the right side of the chest and collapsed in the 1800 block of Walbrook Ave. He was rushed to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in serious but stable condition today.
Another shooting occurred at 6:40 p.m. in the 2500 block of E. Preston St., Officer Weinhold said. Richard Jacobs, 38, of the same block was found by police near his home with wounds to back and arm. Mr. Jacobs told police that a black male with a black ski mask and black clothing ran up and shot him for no apparent reason. The victim was taken to Shock Trauma for treatment.