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Sweet 16 party ends in gunfire man, 24, killed; 2nd man wounded when intruders are turned away


A 24-year-old man was fatally shot and another man was wounded Friday after a fight ended in gunfire during a party at the Banneker Community Center in Catonsville.

The deceased, identified by police as Steven Cowan of the 2900 block of Oakley Ave. in Baltimore had been acting as the bouncer at a Sweet 16 party for a niece's friend that was attended by about 80 people ages 16 to 22, said his sister, Stephanie Taylor.

Cowan and Kumnoi "Marty" Brown, 25, of the 10100 block of Darlington Road in Columbia, who was wounded in the leg, were shot after a handful of people who had not been invited tried to get into the party about 11: 30 p.m., police said.

The intruders entered the gym where people were dancing. They were approached by the party's hosts and asked to leave, police said.

Cowan followed the intruders outside to the building's steps, where an fight began, police said.

Cowan was shot during the dispute, sending partygoers scattering to their cars, police and neighbors said.

"People tried to crash a party, they were angry they were asked to leave, shouting began and shots were fired," said Bill Toohey, county police spokesman.

"It turned from people trying to have a good time to a very nasty fight," he said.

Police said they had no suspects yesterday, but were interviewing people from Columbia, Baltimore and Baltimore County who were at the party.

The Rev. Herbert Watson, Baltimore County police chaplain, added: "Cowan was just trying to keep things calm by intervening to keep uninvited people out.

"He was being a good Samaritan and, in the process, he ends up being shot and killed.

"It's really tragic," said Watson, who lives on Wesley Avenue near the center.

Pub Date: 12/29/96

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