Death figures show need for action, Dixon says
On average, a Baltimore resident dies six years earlier then other state residents, Mayor Sheila Dixon said yesterday in an address to the Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dixon called for greater involvement by city hospitals and stressed the importance of ending homelessness, reducing violence and treating truancy. "Because about two-thirds of our city residents are African-American, these ... deaths reflect deep health disparities in our country," Dixon said in prepared remarks. There are bright spots in the city's health, the mayor said, noting that since 2000 there have been fewer reports of children with lead poisoning, a 13 percent reduction in rates of HIV transmissions and 16 percent fewer overdose deaths. The city has also seen a 20 percent reduction in heart disease deaths, an 11 percent reduction in cancer deaths, a 34 percent reduction in fatal strokes and a 23 percent reduction in diabetes deaths.
Police investigate two shootings; 2 men dead
Three men were shot, two of them fatally, in two incidents last night in West Baltimore, and police were attempting to determine whether the attacks were related. The victims' names were withheld pending notification of family members, and no arrests had been made. Shortly before 10:30 p.m., Southern District police, responding to a report of shots fired in the 300 block of S. Fulton Ave. near Ramsay Street in the Mount Clare community, found two brothers bleeding from bullet wounds, said Agent Donny Moses, a Police Department spokesman. Moses said one brother was shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other was shot in the shoulder and was taken by a city Fire Department ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. His condition was not available last night. Minutes after the Fulton Avenue shootings, Southwestern District police responding to a shooting in the 500 block of S. Catherine St. - about six blocks away from the Fulton Avenue shooting - found the body of a man lying in a field near Westside Shopping Center. He had been shot in the back of the neck and was pronounced dead at the scene, Moses said. Metro Crime Stoppers at 410-276-8888 is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to arrests and indictments in the two shootings.
City teen gets 10 years for March fatal shooting
A 16-year-old Baltimore youth was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder. Farron Tates' family had gathered March 1 at his aunt's Northwest Baltimore home to mourn the death of his cousin's infant daughter. According to prosecutors, the baby's father, Anthony Underwood, arrived drunk and began cursing at members of Tates' family, blaming them for the baby's death. After attempts were made to remove Underwood from the home, he glared at Tates, then 15. The teen pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and shot Underwood twice. Tates' aunt, Regina Lewis, told police what happened, and Tates' mother accompanied the teen to the police station to turn himself in. Underwood's sister criticized the 10-year sentence, saying that when Tates got out of prison her family would "never forget" what he did. That sparked a brief confrontation with Tates' relatives. Prosecutor Richard Gibson said he offered a 10-year sentence because the witnesses against Tates were members of his immediate family and seeking a harsher sentence would have torn the family apart. Tates had been convicted earlier as a juvenile of gun possession. After the gun conviction, a juvenile master sent Tates home with his mother, Bridgette Tates, who had been convicted of buying drugs three months earlier. Upon Tates' release from prison, he will be on probation for three years. If he violates probation, he could receive up to 20 years in prison.
Man dead in shooting with Frederick police
FREDERICK : Frederick police said one man was killed and another injured in shootings. Police responding to a report of gunfire about 4:30 p.m. yesterday near Columbine Driver and Gatepost Lane found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital; his condition was not known. Police located a suspect, and he confronted officers with a handgun. Gunfire was exchanged, and the suspect was shot; he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not know whether the suspect was shot by officers or whether it was a self-inflicted wound.