Two men were shot, one fatally, inside a barbershop on Eastern Avenue. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)
A former Highlandtown businessman just out of federal prison was identified as the victim fatally shot by masked men in a neighborhood barbershop Monday evening.
Andreas Tamaris, 47, who police said had a last known address in Baltimore County, was in the His & Her Barbershop in the 3200 block of Eastern Avenue about 5 p.m. when he was shot. Police said they believe the shooting was targeted. Tamaris had been released from prison three days earlier.
A second man, a 20-year-old, was shot in the hand.
Outside the barber shop Tuesday morning, Acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa was greeted by several residents who shook his hand and thanked him for the added officers on the street.
“I want to come out here and show the community that we are in support of them, that we are equally upset that this happened at rush hour. We are still going to be here. We are not going away,” he said.
A uniformed police officer stood watch out front. Blood smeared on the front door had been wiped away and a sign with the shop’s hours had been taken down. The shop remained dark. No one answered at a number listed on the marquee.
Homicide detectives in suits walked the surrounding blocks, handing out fliers, asking residents to come forward with any information related to the rush hour shooting.
De Sousa said increased patrols will remain in the area. He said more officers were in the area before the shooting amid concerns of robberies in the neighborhood.
“We are going to keep real visible in this area. We know this area is a concern for robberies, so we’re going to stay on top of it,” he said.
Tamaris was charged in U.S. District Court in 2011 with using straw purchasers and false information to buy and flip distressed rowhouses in Baltimore, primarily in the Highlandtown area.
Federal prosecutors said Tamaris and his co-conspirators recruited buyers to purchase houses, knowing they did not qualify for home mortgages. To help the buyers purchase the properties, they prepared fraudulent mortgage applications which misrepresented the buyers’ income and assets. Agents inflated the prices of the houses to ensure a profit, prosecutors said.
“The conspirators falsely indicated to the mortgage loan brokers that the straw purchasers each intended to use the property as their primary residence following the purchase,” prosecutors said at the time. “Tamaris and other individuals supplied the funds needed for the down payment and closing costs on each of the transactions, and were in turn reimbursed from the loan proceeds at settlement.”
Court records show Tamaris pleaded guilty, but was not sentenced until late 2016, after three other co-conspirators had been charged and convicted. Tamaris was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.
Tamaris was released from custody on Feb. 16, according to Bureau of Prisons records.
Asked whether police are investigating if there is a connection between Tamaris’ shooting and the federal case, Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith said the investigation is active and “we are looking into all possibilities.”
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“We are unsure if he was the intended target, but the shooting was clearly targeted,” Smith said.
De Sousa said he didn’t want to assume any connections.
“I don’t want to hold that against him,” De Sousa said. “Whether he was involved in something or not, he didn’t deserve it.”
Two other shootings were reported around the same time as the barbershop shooting. Police said a 26-year-old man was shot about 5:05 p.m. in the 1100 block of Stoddard Court. A 19-year-old woman also was shot in the 900 block of Ensor Court an hour later.
Police said they also were informed of a 26-year-old woman treated at a hospital for injuries from a shooting Feb. 11.