A Baltimore County shopping center was the site of deadly violence yesterday, when two women were shot while sitting in a parked car.
One of the women was killed, and the other was seriously injured by gunfire on the parking lot of the Parkway Crossing shopping center, just north of the city-county line, off Perring Parkway.
Police said they did not believe the shooting was random.
Witnesses reported hearing screams and gunfire about 10:20 a.m. on the parking lot, police said.
A woman wearing a light-colored blouse was slumped in the passenger seat and a woman in the driver's seat was soaked with blood and appeared to have been shot in the face, said Nick Sala, 77, who hurried out of Perring Bingo as soon as he heard about the shooting.
The driver said, "Help us, please help us," Sala recalled. "I was just looking at her and telling her to hold on," he said.
Police said that the woman in the driver's seat was able to gave them information before she was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Her condition was listed as serious but stable, police said.
"The victim may have known her killer or may have had some relationship with the killer," said Cpl. Michael Hill, a Baltimore County police spokesman.
The names of the victims were withheld, pending the notification of families, but Hill said that both were 24 years old. The body of the dead woman was covered by a sheet in the passenger seat of a gray Dodge Stratus for several hours as detectives examined the car.
"We have witnesses that have suggested that she may be pregnant," Hill said, adding that a pregnancy could not be confirmed until an autopsy had been performed.
The driver's side door of the car was spattered with blood. Sunglasses, a blue flip-flop and a pile of clothes lay on the asphalt nearby.
A manager at Charles Village Pub in Baltimore said that the dead woman was a waitress there.
Yellow police tape encircled an area of the parking lot that stretched from a Home Depot store to the former site of a Superfresh grocery store. Diners leaving the Perring Place restaurant or families headed to a children's center shook their heads sadly when they learned about the shooting.
Bingo players said that they were startled when a man in his mid-20s ran inside asking for rags to soak up blood. They had not heard the shots over the hum of the air conditioner and sounds of the game.
Some shopping center patrons said they were not surprised that a shooting had occurred.
Last week, a 4-year-old boy was struck in the foot by a stray bullet a few blocks away in the Dutch Village condominiums, across Northern Parkway in the city. In May last year, a cab driver was shot and killed by a passenger in the Dutch Village area.
"There's shooting around all the time," said Helen Wright, 59, who lives in the neighborhood near the shopping center. "At night, you hear shots constantly."
Police questioned a number of people at the scene and will scan tapes from shopping center security cameras, Hill said.
The Superfresh and a Blockbuster video store left the shopping center in the past year, said Michael Siciliano, a manager for the Wharton Realty Group, the center's New Jersey-based property manager.
"You try your best to make sure that the premises are secure, but unfortunately you can't watch everything," Siciliano said.
Sala said he returned to the bingo hall after the police arrived. "What is going on in people's minds?" he said. "Why are people so full of hate that they take somebody's life?"