Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five




Man fatally stabbed in church one of three weekend deaths

A man was fatally stabbed during a fight in the basement of a historic downtown Baltimore church late Saturday afternoon in one of two weekend slayings reported yesterday by city police.

The stabbing occurred at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church about 5 p.m., during dinner there for the homeless or needy, as two men got into a fight, police said.

Before any of the volunteers serving the meal or homeless persons sitting at tables could intervene, one stabbed the other in the chest with an unknown weapon. The unidentified assailant fled the church, located across the street from the Washington Monument.

The victim - a 42-year-old with a downtown address - died shortly before 6 p.m. in the emergency room at Johns Hopkins Hospital, police said. His name was withheld pending notification of relatives. Police said the victim had joined several homeless persons for dinner at the church.

The other homicide victim - Troy Bennett, 30 - was found shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday by police responding to a 911 call from a house in the 1500 block of Holbrook St. Bennett, a resident, was lying on the kitchen floor and bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital a short time later, police said.

Police also were investigating the death of an unidentified man whose body was found in a West Baltimore rowhouse. Officers responding to an anonymous telephone call about 12:30 p.m. yesterday entered the three-story dwelling in the 2700 block of W. North Ave. and found the body lying in a second-floor room.

Police declined to say whether there was any sign of violence or forced entry. The body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

---Richard Irwin

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