Fighting drugs cost him his life

The Baltimore Sun

When Angelo Ford was killed in a shooting Nov. 23 in South Baltimore's Sharp-Leadenhall community, just blocks from the heart of Federal Hill, the initial reports were that he had been shot over drugs.

That was only part of the story.

Ford, 49, was indeed shot over drugs, but not because he was buying them or fighting with a rival dealer - he was shot for trying to get a group of people to stop selling near his girlfriend's house, according to charging documents. His girlfriend, Saundra Grove, was also shot, and a 27-year-old neighborhood woman who has a history of drug convictions has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

There was no answer at the door of Grove's split-level home yesterday, where newspapers had piled up on the steps; across the street, men stood in the steady rain, yelling on the corner outside a package liquor store. Asked about Grove, a next-door neighbor paused for several seconds with her eyes closed and said Grove was dead.

Informed she was not, the woman said, "Well, even if she's not, she wouldn't come back here."

The double shooting occurred about two hours after the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T; Bank Stadium, a short walk over the Hamburg Street bridge. On game days, many fans cut through the neighborhood, the city's oldest African-American residential enclave with a heritage that traces to 1790. Today, it is a mix of dilapidated public housing, downtrodden apartment buildings and renovated rowhouses blocks from Federal Hill.

According to court records, Grove, 55, asked Joy Dulan and others to stop making noise and selling drugs behind her home in the 1000 block of Leadenhall St. about 6:30 p.m. Dulan and Grove argued, and Dulan refused to leave. Grove told Ford, who went outside to confront the crowd.

Ford got into a fight with the group, and Dulan was knocked to the ground, records show. Grove pleaded for Ford to come inside, and Dulan was seen leaving the scene with two men. But within minutes, a vehicle returned to the scene.

Grove was in her kitchen when there was a knock at the door; a man was standing on the steps asking to see Ford. Words were exchanged, and the man started shooting, according to records.

Ford was struck several times, and Grove was hit in the hip with a stray bullet, according to Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman.

Dulan was seen running from the scene and jumping into a vehicle with two unknown men, court records show. As Dulan ran, she was overheard by witnesses telling the shooter to get rid of the gun, records show.

Police said witnesses were found who identified Dulan as the woman who got into a fight with Ford and brought the shooter back to Grove's home, according to charging documents.

Dulan, of the 100 block of W. Cross St., was arrested and charged Tuesday in connection with the shooting. Her home is a block away from Grove's, on a corner with bars on the windows and across from the parking lot for the Leadenhall Baptist Church.

Court records indicate Dulan had recently been released from prison after being sentenced to three years in February 2007 for drug possession with intent to distribute. She received prison sentences in 2005 and 2004 on drug charges as well. The two other men, including the shooter, remain unknown, police said.

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