Acting Baltimore Police commissioner Darryl De Sousa talks about the first homicide in 12-days in the city. (Baltimore Sun video)
A 22-year-old man was fatally shot in Northeast Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon, ending a 12-day stretch in which the city had not recorded a homicide.
The man, who police later identified as Sadik Griffin, was shot in the chest about 1:15 p.m. in front of a nondescript corner store in the 3800 block of Elmley Avenue, in the Belair-Edison neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore, police said.
The man died about 1:45 p.m. at a local hospital, police said.
In a separate incident Tuesday night, police said 56-year-old John Townes Jr. was shot multiple times in the 6100 block of Frankford Ave. in the Frankford neighborhood of East Baltimore at about 9:18 p.m. Townes was taken to an area hospital, where he died.
At the crime scene of the Elmley Avenue shooting, technicians photographed and then bagged bloodied clothing strewn on the sidewalk near a long, sloping alley at the side of the store, and placed evidence markers around bloodied napkins and a stain on the cement.
Rita Crews, the president of the Belair-Edison Community Association, said she heard four or five shots from her nearby home, and was saddened by the thought of the streak without a homicide coming to an end.
She said she was “deeply sorry” for the family of the man killed, and wished the violence hadn’t visited the neighborhood.
“I’m quite disappointed. We have a good neighborhood, good neighbors. We shouldn’t have to put up with this,” Crews said. “We have hardworking people in our community. We don’t want crime here. We want the same quality of life as everyone else.”
Crews said she knows Acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa, believes in him, and plans to speak in support of his confirmation at a forthcoming City Council hearing.
“He works well. He does well,” Crews said.
De Sousa arrived at the scene shortly afterward, along with Lt. Deron Garrity, whom he appointed last week as the new east side area commander. The two discussed intelligence around the shooting with a couple of other officers before crossing under the yellow tape. They then visited with residents on a porch a couple of doors down, whom De Sousa hugged.
He said he knew the residents from his time commanding the district years ago.
“I hadn’t seen them in a while and went to make sure they were OK and just chit-chat with them and make sure that they know we’re going to be here to help them, that we’re going to be out here deployed on the streets,” he said.
De Sousa acknowledged the man’s killing had broken a 12-day stretch without a homicide, but said he didn’t want to focus on the number.
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“At the end of the day, it’s a body, it’s a person, it’s a story behind him. We’re trying to figure out what his story is and what happened. We’re going to look at his background and what led up to this incident,” De Sousa said.
De Sousa said he and his commanders are “going to keep pushing with the crime fight, making sure that the officers have support out there on the streets, and giving them the best training possible.”
“It’s a long 2018. We’re going in the right direction, but it’s still early,” De Sousa said. “We have a long, long way to go.”