A gang of men mugged a 15-year-old boy, then burst into his Northeast Baltimore home and shot his father to death early yesterday, police said.
Sean Stokes, 31, died in an upstairs room of the home he had moved to eight months ago in the 3000 block of Clearview Ave. Police spokeswoman Angelique Cook-Hayes said Stokes was shot in the torso.
Stokes' 15-year-old son told police he was mugged by four to five men just outside his house as he returned home at 12: 45 a.m., Cook-Hayes said. The teen-ager told police he was forced into the home through a side entrance by the muggers, who made their way upstairs and confronted Stokes.
The boy, who is not being identified by police, said the men shot his father as they struggled with him.
It was unclear from police accounts whether Stokes' family was home at the time of the shooting. Police also could not say where the boy had been before he came home.
Cook-Hayes said police did not recover a homicide weapon and had no suspects in custody. They were trying to determine whether a woolen black ski mask, with holes punched out for eyes and mouth, and a woolen pair of gloves found nearby in the 7300 block of Shadow Lawn Ave. were related to the case.
Neighbors on the tree-lined streets of Clearview were stunned by the slaying. "This kind of thing just doesn't happen here. We don't even get car break-ins," said Michael Glaze, 47, who lives next door to the Stokes family.
Glaze, like others in the neighborhood, said he heard no gunshots and wasn't aware of a problem until police arrived early yesterday.
"When I looked out my window, I saw Sean's little son, about 10 or 11 years old, crying and screaming for his dad, with police all around," Glaze said. "It was just terrible."
Neighbors said Stokes was a gentle man who had moved his wife and two children to the neighborhood early this year.
"They were pretty much model neighbors," said Carolyn Silvia, who lives near the Stokes family. "I tell you what, it makes me really feel scared."