Man killed, two wounded as car is sprayed with bullets on west side; Gunfire causes crash, injury to woman, 85


A car traveling on a West Baltimore street was sprayed with gunfire yesterday morning, killing the driver and wounding two passengers.

The car, which police said may have been shot with an assault weapon, then careened into a commercial building and rowhouse, showering debris on an 85-year-old woman.

It was the second triple shooting this week on the west side, continuing a pattern a violence that has made the Western District the second deadliest this year.

The Western District commander, Maj. Kenneth L. Blackwell, refused to comment on the violence, but area residents demanded answers yesterday.

About 11: 30 a.m. yesterday, a 1992 Honda was traveling south in the 600 block of N. Carey St. when one or two people sprayed the car with bullets, police said. The bullets might have been fired from a passing vehicle or from the sidewalk.

The driver, Anthony D. Smith, 25, was shot multiple times in the upper body and died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The front-seat passenger, Robert A. Smith, 23, was shot once in the abdomen. The Smiths are cousins and live in the 500 block of Mosher St.

The rear-seat passenger, John Davis, 27, of the 1800 block of Edmondson Ave. was shot once in the hand. Both passengers were in good condition last night at Shock Trauma.

"I was just waking up, and then I heard five rounds, then a pause, then three or four more rounds," said Otis Watts, of the 500 block of N. Carey St.

The bullets also shattered the back window of a car heading west on Edmondson Avenue, but the driver was not injured.

During the shooting, Anthony Smith lost control of the Honda, which swerved across the street. It then jumped the curb, police said, smashing into a vacant building before drifting back across the road and coming to rest against a rowhouse.

A piece of metal dislodged from the vacant building when it was struck fell on a woman who was scurrying to escape the gunfire. Virginia Scroggins of the 1900 block of Lauretta Ave. was being treated at Bon Secours Hospital for head injuries.

Homicide detectives, who recovered multiple shell casings from the scene, said it appeared that the shots were fired from an assault rifle but that they had not recovered a weapon.

Sunday, three men were seriously wounded when gunmen armed with an AK-47 assault rifle fired into a van parked three blocks from yesterday's triple shooting.

The Western District has recorded nine homicides this year, including the killing of a young man three weeks ago near the site of yesterday's shooting. Last year, the district recorded 36 homicides and 190 shootings.

Police are investigating whether the two triple shootings are connected. Residents said the officers need to stop the drug plague and the killings.

"They need to go back to walking the beat," said former North Carey Street resident Robin Hill. "If I can come down here and identify the drug dealers and [troublemakers], then I'm sure they can, too."

Pub Date: 2/17/00

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