Killing is latest in spike in city's residential neighborhoods

A man was shot and killed Tuesday night in Baltimore's West Forest Park neighborhood, as killings in the city's Northwest District approached the total for all of last year.

While the Park Heights area in the northern portion has long been a troubled area, half the killings in the district this year have occurred in the southern area, where there is lower crime and neighborhoods consist mainly of single-family homes with well-kept lawns.

Maj. Johnny Delgado, the district commander, said he thinks police enforcement efforts in the northern part of the district have led criminals to venture southward.

"They're meeting for drug deals in these isolated areas where cops don't normally patrol," he said. "These are heavily residential areas, well-maintained houses, and cops aren't going to ride around as much as an area with a lot of crime."

The latest killing occurred about 10 p.m. in the 4600 block of Norfolk Ave., where officers responding to reports of a shooting found a man lying on the sidewalk with one gunshot wound to the head and others to the body, police said.

Medics took the victim to Sinai Hospital, where he died, according to police.

Delgado said police did not know the victim's identity. Officers believe a woman was with him and fled the scene. A vehicle was left there, he said.

"We're trying to locate that second person, but until then, we don't have a motive or any other information," Delgado said.

He said he did not believe the victim or the shooter had connections to the area.

"It looks like a place they went to meet, and things went bad," he said.

Delgado said he is telling area residents to be vigilant and call police if they see anything suspicious.

"When they see suspicious activity, we want them to call immediately. That triggers an officer to respond a little quicker," he said.

The killing — the 14th in the district this year — nearly equals the 15 last year in the Northwest, a year in which the figure was particularly low. The Northwest District had 30 homicides in 2010 and 33 in 2008.

Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting. Anyone with information was asked to call 410-396-2100.

Meanwhile, police identified the man shot and killed Sunday night in the 1000 block of N. Central Ave. as Deangelo Bess, 25, of the 1200 block of Washington Blvd. That case remains open.

Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.

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