As homicide detectives sorted through a Southwest Baltimore crime scene Thursday that included two smashed vehicles, shell casings, a man shot in the hand and another man shot dead, a second group of police investigators responded to East Baltimore.
At that scene, eight miles away, they found a man who had been fatally shot in the Broadway East neighborhood. Later Thursday night, officers found a man shot to death in a Brooklyn home on the south side of the city.
A total of five people were shot — three of them fatally — in four separate shootings in Baltimore on Thursday, bringing the number of homicides this year to 21 and the number of shootings involving at least two victims to six.
Baltimore police said none of the shootings Thursday appear related, though investigators were on the lookout for signs of retaliatory violence so extra patrol officers could be deployed if needed.
Commanders in each police district were studying the incidents and doing "everything in our power to reduce the violent crime happening," Police Department spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said.
The first of Thursday's shootings occurred about 10:50 a.m. in the Middle East neighborhood of East Baltimore. Police said a man was found shot in the leg in the 1100 block of N. Patterson Park Ave.
Then, shortly before noon, officers responded to the southwestern Baltimore City-Baltimore County border, where they found a dark-colored BMW coupe rammed into the left-rear fender of a silver minivan. Both cars rested on the front lawn of a home at Stamford and St. Gemma roads.
The driver of the coupe had been fatally shot in the head. Police identified him as Stephen Foreman, 40, who lived in the first block of Crestford Court. Police said another man who had been shot in the hand was found nearby. Blood marked the side of the minivan.
Bystanders said the two vehicles were involved in a chase that turned into a shooting involving about four people. Kowalczyk said police were trying to determine what happened.
At 1:27 p.m., officers responded across the city to the 2400 block of E. Lafayette Ave., where they found a man shot in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police identified him as James Smith, 49, who lived in the 2400 block of Lexington St.
Blood pooled on the street where Smith had fallen, and a crumpled dark jacket remained on the street as detectives looked at shell markers officers had laid out. A minivan was parked in the middle of the crime scene, but it was unclear whether it was involved in the shooting.
The killing in East Baltimore was that area's first homicide of the year. Once routinely one of Baltimore's more violent police districts, violence has declined as Operation Ceasefire has been expanded in the area this year. The violence-prevention program uses prosecutors and police working together to supervise repeat gun offenders and violent youths.
The city implemented the program last year in West Baltimore, another historically violent area. By the end of 2014, homicides in that area had been cut in half from 42 the previous year, in part because of the program, according to police.
The last of the four shootings happened inside a home in the 4400 block of Prudence St. in Brooklyn, where officers found an occupant dead at 7:10 p.m., when they were called to check on a resident. Police identified the man as Stephen Vaise, 60.
Police have no suspects in any of Thursday's shootings, and they ask anyone with information to contact detectives.
Police on Friday also identifed the man who had been killed Wednesday in the 2300 block of Walbrook Ave. as Davon Johnson, 28, who had been shot multiple times. Police initially put out the address of the homicide as the 2000 block of N. Bentalou St. That was the block in which police ay Johnson lived.