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Baltimore Police make arrest in shooting that killed one DPW employee, injured another

Baltimore Police on Wednesday announced an arrest in last week’s fatal shooting of city public works employee.

Police charged Pierre Foster with killing Davyon Mason, a 32-year-old Department of Public Works employee, on April 23 in North Baltimore, and said he fired the shots that injured another employee.

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The shooting occurred just before 7:30 p.m. in the area of York Road and East Cold Spring Lane, where the DPW employees had been operating a sanitation vehicle.

Police arrested Foster, 28, without incident Tuesday night, “only blocks away from where this incident occurred,” Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a news conference Wednesday. Foster “was known to the officers who worked that district,” Harrison added.

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Foster has been charged with first-degree murder, according to police.

Harrison said “good detective work” and “good community participation” led to Foster’s arrest.

According to charging documents, Foster was identified as the shooter after detectives reviewed video footage from areas near the shooting, which captured the shooter wearing a sweatshirt with the “distinguishable character ‘Chucky’” on the chest. Witnesses identified Foster as the person wearing the Chucky shirt, which he also wore in his pictures on his Instagram and his Instagram handle, the document said.

Harrison said he hoped the charges would bring some closure to Mason’s family, friends and city co-workers.

Mason’s loved ones are the latest in Baltimore to be “left grieving, trying to figure out how to carry on,” the commissioner said.

Police did not offer any details Wednesday about what transpired in the minutes leading up to the shooting beyond the initial, vague description.

“There was some type of exchange” before the DPW employees were shot and injured, Harrison said shortly after the shooting. At the time, he said it wasn’t clear why they had driven the city vehicle to that area.

It’s still unclear whether either of the workers were targeted in the shooting. Harrison conceded at that “we speculate that’s a possibility.” Two people were in the city vehicle when the gunman opened fire. Harrison said detectives still are combing over information and looking for witnesses.

Video footage captured Foster and another suspect cross York Road from nearby Willow Street, and approach the DPW truck and fire upon Mason, according to the charging documents. The suspects then fled south on York Road.

The charging documents identified a third man — the driver of the DPW truck ― who was also located at the scene, which police had not previously disclosed. A witness was also located at the scene, the charging document said.

Mathew W. Garbark, director of the city’s Department of Public Works, credited police for swiftly making an arrest in “this heinous, heinous act.”

Mason was assigned to the public work’s downtown operations unit, Garbark said. The crew doesn’t do “routine services,” but patrols to pick up corner trash cans.

Garbark said he visited the public works yard where Mason worked in the aftermath of his killing.

“It’s visible that this has left a hole,” Garbark said. “This is something that’s going to take a while for them to grieve. They’ve lost a co-worker. But let’s not forget a child has lost a father, a mother has lost a son, a sister has lost a brother.”

Mason’s mother, Rochelle Mason, said detectives had questioned her about her son, including whether he had gotten into any trouble, but Mason said her son was not involved in any criminal activity.

She said her son had worked as a garbage collector for the city for several years, and that he had a son. His family said he was interested in becoming a firefighter.

Mayor Brandon Scott said Mason still had “so much life left ahead of him that was now taken away from him for nothing.” He asked for the public to pray for Mason’s family and for the unidentified 38-year-old man who is recovering in the hospital.

Scott denounced violence against city employees, who he said “dedicate their lives to advancing our community.” He said he was working with city leaders to ensure employee safety on the job.

“Our city employees work hard to provide the highest quality of service possible to the residents of Baltimore and everyone that they encounter,” Scott said. “Even during this global pandemic, our workforce has persevered by continuing to offer world class service to our vulnerable communities, especially those hardest hit. They have not stopped, and we owe all of them a debt of gratitude.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.

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