Police had no suspects or witnesses yesterday in the weekend shooting death of a 23-year-old Carroll County man in a Southwest Baltimore neighborhood known for its active open-air drug market.
Justin Roger Alban, a recently discharged Army private from a middle-class neighborhood in Woodbine, was shot about 10: 25 p.m. Friday in the 2000 block of Hollins St.
Homicide Detective William F. Ritz said Alban managed to drive his car to the 1900 block of Hollins, where it came to rest against a parked vehicle.
Ritz said no witnesses had come forward, but added that police hoped to question two women who were seen in a blue hatchback in the vicinity. He said police have no reason to believe the women are suspects in the case.
"We're still trying to piece together why he's in that neighborhood," Ritz said. He said police found no indication that Alban had been robbed.
The detective said Alban was killed with a handgun but would release no further details about the weapon or his wounds.
Ritz said that even elderly neighborhood residents who normally cooperate with police seemed reluctant to come forward in the case.
"We don't have anyone even calling in anonymously," the detective said.
Alban, a 1994 graduate of South Carroll High School, was the son of Kenneth R. and Deanna I. Alban of the 5600 block of Manor Drive in Woodbine.
He joined the Army in 1996 and served six months with the U.S. peacekeeping force in Bosnia before being stationed in Germany. He left the military in June, according to Rich Alban, a cousin who is an Anne Arundel County police detective.
Detective Alban said his cousin's family had last seen him Friday night and thought he was planning to visit Fells Point with friends. He said the family did not know why he would have been in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhood.
Maryland court records show the victim had never been arrested for drug offenses, and his cousin said he had no knowledge of any substance abuse problem. Ritz said an autopsy showed no signs of drug use but that toxicology tests were not complete.
Justin Alban was put on probation before judgment after a 1996 arrest for underage possession of alcohol. His probation was ended in July of that year so he could join the military.
Detective Alban said his cousin received an honorable discharge and was seeking work in the telecommunications field.
The block where Alban was shot is known to police as an active open-air drug market frequented by drug users from the suburbs. Officer Donald Barnes of the Southwestern District said the area has no nightclubs or other entertainment.