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Man found fatally shot in pickup truck near mall

The Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore man was shot to death in a pickup truck parked in an upscale community near Arundel Mills mall, Anne Arundel County police said yesterday.

Officers responding to a report of gunfire in the 7700 block of Rotherham Drive in Hanover about 8:30 p.m. Thursday found Derrin Davon Thomas, 27, with several gunshot wounds. The motor of the red Ford F-150 pickup truck was still running.

Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said a man was seen walking away from the truck after shots were heard. He entered the passenger side of a silver- or gold-colored vehicle, which had been backed into a driveway, and the car drove off.

Two apparent stray bullets also struck a home, though no one inside was injured.

Police said the incident appeared to be a random flash of violence in a neighborhood of new $500,000 homes that is between the mall and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

"From residents we've spoken to, nobody has any idea what the vehicles were doing there," said Sgt. Sara Schriver, a county police spokeswoman.

Court records show that Thomas, who lived in the 1800 block of Walbrook Ave., was among a group of men charged with attempted first-degree murder in 2001, though the charges were dropped. He was sentenced to a year in prison after violating probation on a handgun charge in 2002. He had not faced any charges since then.

A month ago, Thomas celebrated the birth of a daughter, according to friend, Van Eaton, 28. He said Thomas dressed well and was regarded as a ladies' man.

"He was a real good guy. I know everybody says that when somebody gets killed, but he was a real good dude," Eaton said. "He tried to look out for people, which is why this came as a shock."

Detectives and crime scene technicians at the scene yesterday declined to speak with a reporter.

The killing is the first in Anne Arundel County this year. There were 12 in 2007, not including a police-involved shooting.

Police were asking anyone with information about the incidence to call Detective Jason Dipietro at 410-222-3415 or the Anne Arundel County tip line at 410-923-4543. A cash reward of up to $2,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest or indictment.

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