Police have identified three men who were fatally shot Tuesday in apparently unrelated shootings across the city, and authorities also reported another homicide yesterday afternoon.
The violence unfolded as Mayor Martin O'Malley and police officials continued to explain new crime statistics released by the FBI this week that showed violent crime increased in the city in 2004 over the previous year.
The mayor and police had repeatedly said that violent crime went down in 2004, pointing to different statistics. Yesterday, O'Malley chose to focus on this year's numbers.
"If you look at the first quarter of this year, [there are] encouraging numbers for the first quarter," O'Malley said. "It's like a baseball season. You have to play hard all season. I hope that we are back on track."
Tuesday's homicides began about 3 p.m. in the 2700 block of Beryl Ave., in East Baltimore, when Damon Holmes, 28, of the 1300 block of N. Patterson Park Ave. was fatally shot, police said. As he lay on a gurney at Johns Hopkins Hospital, police said, employees found a gun in his possession.
Two hours later, Mustafa Aleem, 21, of the 4600 block of Parkton St., was fatally shot in the 2100 block of Walbrook Ave. in West Baltimore, police said.
Lawrence Johnson, 44, of the 3800 block of Park Heights Ave. died early yesterday after a triple shooting about 11:35 p.m. Tuesday in the 3800 block of Roland View Ave. He was shot in the chest, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.
A group of men approached him as he was sitting on a porch with two others, police said. The group opened fire and also hit a 17-year-old boy in the leg and a 19-year-old man in the back. Neither of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, Moses said.
Yesterday, another man was killed and a second seriously injured in separate shootings in East Baltimore.
The first shooting happened about noon in the 1200 block of Ensor St. The victim, a 29-year-old whose name was not divulged, suffered multiple wounds and remained under treatment last night at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
About 3 p.m., in the 900 block of N. Chester St., an unidentified man was shot in the stomach. He died at 5:20 p.m. while undergoing surgery at Hopkins, police said.
Sun staff writers Doug Donovan and Richard Irwin contributed to this article.