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2 brothers fatally shot by gunman on street


Two brothers - ages 17 and 20 - were fatally shot last night while standing in front of a rowhouse on Harford Road, across the street from Clifton Park.

The victims were identified as Earl Johnson and his teen-age brother, Maurice, both of the 2800 block of Brendan Ave. in Northeast Baltimore. They were standing together in the 2600 block of Harford, near Homestead Street, about 7:50 p.m. when a man approached and opened fire with a semiautomatic handgun, police said.

Both brothers were hit several times in the upper body, police said.

Earl Johnson died on the pavement, and his brother was taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Hospital. He died there less than an hour later.

As a large crowd gathered, relatives and friends of the slain brothers arrived and several had to be restrained by police and escorted from the crime scene. On the way back to his car, one man yelled, "Someone's going to pay for this."

Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman, said witnesses saw the gunman fleeing across the street and onto a baseball field at Clifton Park. Police carrying flashlights and aided by a helicopter searchlight combed the field for evidence.

At the scene, the victims' uncle, Melvin Lyle, 50, of the 400 block of N. Lakewood Ave. said his nephews had visited their sister on nearby Fenwick Avenue last night and, as they often did, might have gotten something to eat at the Star Carryout, several yards from where they were shot.

"This is such a horrible thing," Lyle said.

Lyle said Earl Johnson was unemployed and was known to carry a gun for protection. It was not known last night whether he was armed.

Hours after the shootings, no arrest had been made, and a motive was unknown.

Homicide detectives also were investigating the slaying of a 19-year-old man who was shot late Monday in Southwest Baltimore. Police officers responding to a reported shooting found Damien Harris lying on the sidewalk in the 1700 block of W. Pratt St. about 10:45 p.m., suffering from several wounds

Harris, of the 200 block of S. Fulton Ave., died about 30 minutes later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Police said they had no suspect in the shooting, and urged anyone with information about it to call Detective Jim Handley at 410-396-2100.

Sun staff writer Del Quentin Wilber contributed to this article.

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