Baltimore County police are investigating the shooting death of a 36-year-old assistant principal and deacon who was found inside his Pikesville home on Sunday night.
Police identified the victim as Shelton Justin Stanley. City school officials confirmed that Stanley was an assistant principal at Dunbar High School in East Baltimore, and said students and staff had been notified and that grief counselors would be made available.
“We’re devastated to hear of this loss, and we extend condolences to all of his family and loved ones,” said spokeswoman Gwendolyn Chambers.
Dunbar principal Yetunde Reeves said Stanley was a caring and responsive administrator who spread positivity.
“He was an incredible teammate,” she said.
Police said they did not yet have a motive or suspects. Officers were called to the home in the 4800 block of Hawksbury Road at around 7:20 p.m. Sunday for a welfare check after family members were unable to reach Stanley by phone.
Upon arrival police said they found Stanley dead inside the home with “traumatic injuries.”
His body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy, which was conducted Monday, determining the manner and cause of death to be homicide by multiple gunshot wounds.
According to his Facebook page, Stanley was a city schools teacher since 2006.
Reeves said that Stanley worked as a math liaison to a dozen schools before joining her team this year as an assistant principal, with responsibility over 10th grade students as well as some ninth graders. He already knew some staff and students from his math work, and she said he was very responsive to student requests and had a group of young men who he checked in with regularly. He recently recorded a promotional video for an attendance campaign, she said.
“When you were around him, you felt, ‘We’re going to be OK,’ no matter what the challenge was,” Reeves said.
In a post on its Facebook page, Edmondson Heights Church in Southwest Baltimore said Stanley was deacon, as well as its treasurer and a youth ministry leader. “Our hearts are so heavy at this time,” the church said.
Devin Mercer, a vocal music teacher for Baltimore County Public Schools, said he grew up with Stanley, who went by his middle name, Justin. He said Stanley came from a family of educators.
“He made it his life’s work,” Mercer said. “He was a very kind man, very generous with his time. He loved children. and children loved him back.”
He called Stanley’s death “senseless.”
The Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit was investigating and asked anyone who may have information to contact detectives by calling 410-307-2020. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward when submitting tips through Metro Crime Stoppers.