The death of a 23-year-old Laurel man who was shot this month in Annapolis has brought the city's number of homicides in 2006 to seven, two more than the previous highest total.
Sheku Magba Koroma Jr. died Sunday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after he was shot multiple times in the chest during a drive-by shooting in the 900 block of Royal St. about 9:30 p.m. Dec. 14.
Several hours later, Gary Ellis Brown, 36, was charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder after witnesses placed his wife's Pontiac Grand Am at the scene of the crime, according to police.
The charges against Brown, of Oak Manor Drive in Glen Burnie, will be upgraded in the wake of Koroma's death, said Officer Kevin Freeman, an Annapolis police spokesman.
He said that the seven slayings this year do not represent a trend.
"These are crimes of circumstance," Freeman said. "They're all isolated incidents. None are linked together, most occurred in different neighborhoods, and some are drug-related."
Annapolis has seen a drop in violent crime and an increase in burglaries. Freeman attributed the latter to recent population increases.
According to census data, the city's population has grown by about 3,000 in the past 15 years.
This year's homicide tally does not include the May 5 death of 34-year-old Roger Alan Trott, who was shot by an Annapolis police officer as the man was pointing a gun at a state trooper.