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Judge orders mental evaluation for Baltimore 'shooting spree' suspect; police allege second killing

Police give update on Friday’s pursuit and active shooter incident including body camera and Foxtrot footage of the incident. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)

A Baltimore judge on Monday ordered a mental health evaluation for MauSean Carter, the 30-year-old Baltimore man accused by police of killing two people and wounding several others in a days-long “shooting spree” that culminated Friday in a dramatic 30-minute car chase.

Judge Kathleen Sweeney’s order came at the request of Assistant Public Defender Rachel Bennett during a brief bail review hearing in Baltimore District Court. Bennett had made reference to an alleged attempt by Carter to commit suicide last week, and said she had concerns about his mental health based on conversations she had with him.

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Assistant State's Attorney David Chiu suggested the request was “frivolous” and said Bennett had not provided any evidence that Carter’s competency should be questioned, but Sweeney said she didn’t “see any downside” to ordering the evaluation, as Carter was going to be held without bail either way.

Court officials said the proceedings would resume Tuesday pending the evaluation’s outcome.

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Bennett declined to comment afterward.

Carter’s older brother, who asked that he not be named out of fear for his family’s safety, said the family has wanted to get Carter evaluated for years without success.

“My family is devastated because other people’s lives were lost, and people were injured — innocent people — by what my brother has allegedly done,” Carter’s brother said. “We’re also devastated by how the system failed my brother.”

Baltimore Police on Saturday identified the man they have accused of engaging in a “shooting spree” before and during a lengthy police chase through the city on Friday as Mausean Vittorio Quran Carter, 30.

Carter’s brother said Carter began to show troubling signs more than a decade ago, when he said he took Carter to a local hospital for an evaluation but was rebuffed.

“We were told that until he does something that causes harm to himself or to others, they could not do anything,” his brother said. “Well this is the threat to himself and others. This is it.”

According to police and charging documents, Carter faces life in prison on charges of first- and second-degree murder, attempted first- and second-degree murder, varying assault and weapons charges, and reckless endangerment in a spate of shootings across the city’s west side between Dec. 8 and the conclusion of Friday’s chase.

Mentioned among the crimes for the first time on Monday was the “drive-by style” fatal shooting of 21-year-old Martrell Harris in the 4500 block of Reisterstown Road about 2:55 p.m. on Thursday, police said.

According to court records, the scene was scattered with shell casings. Police would match the shell casings to Carter’s .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, officers wrote in charging documents.

A woman told police she was walking behind Harris when she saw gunfire come from a Lexus before the car sped away.

Police wrote in charging documents that Carter “acknowledged the shooting” of Harris, claiming Harris had “disrespected he and his girlfriend.”

The other killing Carter is accused of occurred about two hours later. Police allege he pulled up outside the O’s Super Mart on Poplar Grove Street and opened fire, fatally wounding a store employee and injuring a 16-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man. Police have not identified the employee, saying he is an immigrant from Africa whose family there still need to be notified.

Police said Carter admitted to the shooting.

In addition to the two fatal incidents, Carter is accused of shooting a 31-year-old man in the hip in another drive-by shooting in the 2500 block of Edmondson Ave. on Dec. 8. Video cameras from that incident prompted the lookout for Carter’s gray Lexus, police said.

During the chase Friday, Carter is accused by police of exchanging gunfire with officers and indiscriminately firing a high-powered Bulgaria SLR-95 rifle from his vehicle, striking a man in the leg in a business in the 3100 block of W. North Ave., striking a man in a car in the 5400 block of Wabash Ave, and shattering glass that wounded a man in the 4400 block of Park Heights Ave.

The driver who led police on a dramatic, high-speed car chase through West Baltimore was arrested at noon Friday on the 1800 block of Gwynns Falls Parkway near Mondawmin Mall.

T.J. Smith, a police spokesman, said Carter had admitted to all of the shootings.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Carter “jeopardized the entire city” with his actions, and on Monday praised the work of the officers who responded — including the young, unnamed patrol officer who initially pulled Carter over after recognizing the Lexus from lookout fliers.

Police on Monday released the officer’s body-camera footage from the initial traffic stop and from the end of the chase, where police said Carter’s girlfriend ran up to his car as police officers were closing in and pulled him from the driver’s seat in a bear hug.

At the initial stop, the footage showed Carter complying with the officer’s requests for him to show his identification and registration, then driving off when the officer asked him to step out of the vehicle.

Police said they found the rifle and a handgun in Carter’s car.

Carter’s girlfriend, who police believe was talking to Carter on the phone during the chase and likely helped bring it to an end, could not be reached for comment. No one answered the door at Carter’s home in the 3000 block of Oakford Ave.

Carter’s brother said his family believes Carter’s girlfriend saved his life, for which they are grateful.

“If that girl did not run up to that car and hug my brother, those police officers would have shot and killed my brother,” he said. “They had the gun already out. They were prepared to shoot and kill him. He would have been another black man dead.”

Carter has a criminal record in Baltimore and Baltimore County stretching back more than a decade, including drug, theft and assault convictions.

Davis directed questions about Carter’s mental health to state corrections officials, who did not respond to a request for comment.

Court officials said Carter was due back in court at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

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