July saw 45 homicides across Baltimore, a toll that matched the deadliest month in the city’s modern history and came amid a violent crime surge that has stretched the entire summer. The killings occurred across the city, overwhelmingly in historically impoverished neighborhoods. The victims included a 5-month-old boy and a 53-year-old grandmother, a teen stabbed to death in a dispute over a cell phone and a carryout deliveryman killed in a robbery. The Baltimore Sun sought to profile each victim, through interviews with relatives, friends, neighbors and police, as well as information on social media — and to chronicle the impact on those left behind.
Select a HOMICIDE victim ABOVE to read their story
Josh Remus Burnett
15-year-old, African-American, male.
Killed by stabbing, 7/2/15 , 3700 W Rogers Avenue.
Six weeks after Josh Burnett’s death, Robin Johnson wore a T-shirt emblazoned with photos of her and her son, and bearing the words “Me & my baby.” She visits his grave frequently, she said, and she often feels his presence around the house when lights, faucets, or music turn on inexplicably.
“I believe in spirits,” she said.
Josh was slain by a 13-year-old during a dispute over Burnett’s cellphone July 2, according to police. The 13-year-old has been charged as a juvenile for the crime, and has not been publicly identified because of his age.
Johnson said Josh was a hard worker who washed cars, cut grass with a lawn mower his father bought him and sold water to make money. He also helped others in his spare time, she said.
“Anything they’d ask him to do, he’d help ‘em out,” Johnson said.
His father, Remus Burnett, said the teen kept busy playing football — with the Gwynns Falls 49ers — and wrestling.
“Just trying to keep him in positive, structured environments,” said Remus Burnett. “I had him on regimens of eating, staying healthy. Because he was small, I trained him so that he could make up the difference with his strength.”
Johnson said the dimpled teenager was “busy all the time” with his hobbies — when he wasn’t flirting with girls.
“He loved the girls,” Johnson said with a chuckle.
Josh, who had three brothers and two sisters, was close to his 12-year-old brother, Joshua, according to Johnson, who said they were like “Thing One and Thing Two.”
Johnson said her son wanted to grow up to be a leader and help people.
“He wanted to be like Michael Jackson, ‘We Are the World,’” she said. “He had a grown person’s mind but a child’s body.”
To honor his musical spirit, Johnson said, the funeral was “like a concert” to celebrate his life, with performances by Josh’s loved ones. All attendees wore blue and white, the boys’ favorite colors, his mother said.
Johnson wears Josh’s shirts now to feel close to him, and she’s planning on getting a tattoo to honor all of her children. Until then, she said, she is comforted by the spiritual messages she believes Josh sends her because it means “that he’s all right.”
Killed by shooting, 7/2/15 1:41 PM, 2700 Auchentoroly Terrace.
Nathaniel Wheeler was shot multiple times while working on a construction site in West Baltimore on July 2, the day after his birthday.
Tavon Wheeler said his brother’s death makes him one of just a few men in his family who are not incarcerated or dead.
“I’ve lost a lot to these streets,” he said. “I’ve been shot on these streets; my brother’s been shot on these streets; my father’s died on the street, hit by a car when he was 28; my brother got hit by a car, died when he was 9; my grandfather died in the street to overdose.
“When you see things happen like that in front of your eyes, and you go through this from the age of 12, and it just doesn’t stop, when is it going to ever stop?”
On July 6, Baltimore police arrested and charged Davon Vennie and Kenyon Jackson, both 22, with Nathaniel Wheeler’s murder.
The killing came two days after Ronnie Thomas was slain in Northeast Baltimore. Thomas had been shot in a previous incident by Wheeler’s brother, Carlos, who was sentenced to life in prison this spring. Nathaniel Wheeler had no criminal record.
Police homicide unit commander Capt. Donald Bauer said investigators believe the motive for the killing was related to Wheeler’s family. “He was working. They shot him right off his Bobcat,” Bauer said.
Tavon Wheeler said that his family didn’t know why his brother was killed but that he plans to pursue a more positive path.
“I don’t want to die like that,” he said. “As long as I keep progressing and moving in a forward direction, one step at a time, I’ll be all right out here.”
Killed by shooting, 7/3/15 8:50 PM, 3400 W Caton Avenue.
Everyone on South Kossuth Street in the St. Joseph’s neighborhood in West Baltimore knew Keith Glascoe, according to Kingdom First Ministries Pastor Mark Holland.
Glascoe was always there to help his neighbors, from mowing lawns and maintaining bushes to running errands or just checking up on people, said Holland, who knew Glascoe for more than 15 years.
“He was a community guy,” he said.
Larry Dixon, 42, has been charged with first-degree murder and weapons violations in Glascoe’s killing, according to police.
“It’s a tragic loss,” Holland said. “He will be missed. He’s already missed.”
Holland described Glascoe as “nice, but with a temper.”
“If you irritated him, he let you know it,” Holland said with a laugh. “Like all of us, he had issues, but he was a good guy.”
Although Glascoe had helped the church throughout the years with maintenance, Holland said, he never joined the congregation.
“Literally, for many years, we were together every day, and I said ‘Look, I’m not gonna force nothing on you, but it’s gonna be helpful to you,’” Glascoe said. “He was in our church a couple times, and unfortunately, the only times he was in there was for funerals.”
Killed by shooting, 7/5/15 4:30 PM, 2000 Kennedy Ave.
Charlotte Francis last saw her son, Edward Burroughs, on the Fourth of July.
Francis, who has rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, was finishing up a bath when she realized she couldn’t get out of the tub. Stranded, she wrapped herself in a towel, but didn’t have to wait long before her youngest child came to her rescue. The doorknob turned and she heard his familiar voice.
“Hey Boo … can’t get out, can you?” Francis recalls her son saying. “Don’t worry about it, Boo.”
He lifted her out, helped her into a robe, and led her to bed as he sang to her.
“Only you,” she said to him.
He pulled the covers back, fluffed her pillow and tucked her in, she remembered.
“Now go to sleep, Boo,” she recalled him saying.
When Francis woke up, her brother said she had just missed her son. He had gone out the door.
Francis was about to call him, but her phone battery was dead. She plugged it in and was waiting for it to charge when someone started banging on the door.
“The guy was hollering through the window saying he was looking for Eddie’s mother,” she said.
She stood up and made it to the door before she collapsed.
Burroughs was gone.
“It seemed like the world just flipped after that,” she said.
Burroughs, who had several sisters and brothers, didn’t have any children of his own, but was “the greatest” uncle, Francis said.
A devout Muslim, he attended a local mosque regularly. Aisha Robinson, Burroughs’ sister-in-law, who knew him for 14 years, called him “one of the best people I ever met” and said that he always wore a contagious smile.
“He had a wonderful spirit. Nothing could ever keep him down, ever,” Robinson said, adding that as long as his mother was OK, “he was OK.”
Francis said without Burroughs, she feels like a piece of herself is missing.
“It seemed like everything got so bright once I got him,” she said. “My light’s all gone.”
Killed by shooting, 7/7/15 8:15 PM, 300 N Hilton Street.
Eric Forrester, who court records indicate also went by the name Eric Brown, had a string of handgun-related criminal charges, according to court records. They included a 2002 murder charge for which he was found not guilty.
But his death is not believed related to any of those prior troubles: Homicide unit commander Capt. Donald Bauer said investigators believe he was killed during a robbery at a dice game on a basketball court.
Killed by shooting, 7/7/15 10:37 PM, 900 W Fayette.
Gerald Thompson was killed in a quadruple shooting that left two others — Lamont Randall and Jacqueline Parker — dead near the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus. A neighbor said that Thompson’s family moved from their home after he was killed. Attempts to reach the family were unsuccessful.
Killed by shooting, 7/7/15 10:37 PM, 900 W Fayette.
Jacqueline Parker, the only woman among the 45 people killed in the city in July, was a grandmother and beloved leader of her family.
Her sister, Karen Parker, 57, said that while the whole family is close, she had a special bond with “Jackie.”
“They used to call me and her Bonnie and Clyde because we always stayed together,” she said. “I can’t believe she’s really gone.”
Jacqueline Parker was killed in a quadruple shooting that left two others dead near the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.
Orielle Jones believes her mother was an innocent bystander, caught in the crossfire of a targeted attack.
“She was talking and being friends and joking like she do, and it just happened at the wrong time,” Jones said. “If she hadn’t had been herself, joking and talking, and just would have walked and kept on going, it maybe would have never happened.”
Karen Parker said her sister was a wild child growing up in the projects, but was also devoutly religious. Jones added, “Anything that was going on, she would just tell you, ‘Pray on it. Talk to God about it.’”
Jacqueline Parker, who had several siblings and two children, was the family mediator, her sister said. “Every time our family had a misunderstanding, Jackie would sit down and talk everything out with you. That’s what I really miss.”
She also was generous with her time, from helping the elderly pay their bills to baby-sitting the children in the family — and was particularly helpful with Karen Parker’s 6-year-old grandson, who has autism.
“She never looked at him like he had a disability,” Karen Parker said. “Everything they said he can’t do, Jackie said, ‘I told you he could do it.’”
Karen Parker said that until authorities catch Jackie’s killer, her family will live in fear and pain.
“We just want them to find out who did this bad tragedy to Jacqueline Parker,” she said. “It ain’t gonna ease us, but it’ll make us feel better because we’d know somebody had did their job.”
Jones, who used to speak to her mother on the phone every day, said she has been “in a shell” since her mother’s death.
“I was a mama’s girl,” she said with tears in her eyes. “She meant everything to me in the world.”
Killed by shooting, 7/7/15 10:37 PM, 900 W Fayette.
Nicole Jones-Randall, 37, said her husband was a devoted family man. They shared seven sons and four grandchildren, whom he frequently posted about on Facebook.
His Facebook photos include those of his family and of his tattoos, one of which read “Death before dishonor” across his chest.
Randall died in an attack that killed two others — Gerald Thompson and Jacqueline Parker — near the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.
Police are investigating whether Randall was one of the intended targets in a drug territory dispute, and say he was a member of the Black Guerrilla Family gang.
Jones-Randall said that Randall, who would have turned 40 on Aug. 18 “wasn’t an angel.” Court records show several convictions resulting in prison time. But Jones-Randall said that he used his experiences to impart wisdom on his children.
“He was a street person, so he taught them there’s more to life than just that. Education, focus on your goals, and definitely finish high school, everything else comes later,” she said.
Together for 22 years, and married for almost 16, the couple met when Jones-Randall was 15 years old and Randall was 18. She was walking past him on her way to get her hair done when he aimed at her with a water gun, setting the playful tone of their relationship, she said. They had their first son in 1994.
Jones-Randall described her husband as outgoing and said he was someone who supported his own.
“He was just a loving, kind, giving person. ... Well-respected,” she said.
Jones-Randall said her husband enjoyed fishing, Internet games and family events such as game nights.
“It’s hard. He was just lovable,” she said. “It’s just unreal that he’s not here.”
Killed by shooting, 7/8/15 1:20 PM, 1700 W Lanvale.
Gary Jackson's older sister said he had just graduated from Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts High School, and was signed up to go to school to get a certification in heating, ventilating and air conditioning. She called his death sudden, and described him as "loving, caring, happy and respectful."
Tionya Jackson, 26, said her brother had a 1-year-old son, and was a "dedicated father" who also liked watching movies, rapping and watching football.
"As a family, me, my mom and dad, it's hard for us every day," she said.
Police said they were investigating whether Jackson's killing was drug-related. He pleaded guilty to a handgun charge in April and received a suspended sentence, court records show.
Police are investigating whether Tyrell Hardy’s killing was retaliation for a robbery. Court records show he was arrested on a robbery case and a handgun case. A relative said the family declined to comment for this article.
Killed by shooting, 7/11/15 8:37 PM, 2600 Boone St.
Just days before Dante Barnes’ death, he gave a talk to his fiancee’s daughter about guns.
“He was telling me sometimes when you make somebody upset and they have a weapon, that’ll be the first thing they get,” said Quisha Wright, 17.
The talk would prove prophetic. Barnes was shot in the head, according to police.
Police arrested and charged Adam Melvin with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting, but have not disclosed a motive, and Barnes' fiancee, Andrea Young, says the family is awaiting his trial.
Wright said Barnes’ death has left a big void. Because he was the family’s breadwinner, his killing left them homeless, forcing them to go from hotel rooms to a relative’s house before recently settling into a permanent residence, she said.
“We lost a lot in his death,” she said. “My nerves are really bad now. If I hear a bang, I think it’s gunshots.”
Barnes, who served 14 years in prison for assault and a handgun crime, was on the road to a better path since his release, according to Young. At the time of his death, she said he was working a janitorial job and had just earned a certification to service heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
“He had a second chance at life, coming home from prison,” she said.
Young said Barnes was a mentor to her four children, particularly her 22-year-old son, in whom Barnes saw himself.
“He was doing that because nobody ever did that for him,” Young said. “He feared for my son’s life, and I know that — I feel in my heart — that God sent me an angel.”
Young said she had known Barnes for 27 years and that his death means the loss of her childhood love. The two were to have been married Aug. 8.
“I feel like though I lost him. … I gained so much. Without the relationship with Dante I wouldn’t know what it feels like to be truly loved by a man, honored by a man,” she said. “If I never loved again, I know what it feels like to love, and that’s the blessing in the story.”
Killed by shooting, 7/11/15 2:26 AM, 1800 N Durham St.
Though Gregory Tavon Higgins spent much of the past 20 years in prison, he was like a father to his nephew Myron Higgins, who said he grew up without one. They talked often on the phone, and the nephew visited him in prison.
“I just latched on to him. Even though he wasn’t there physically, he was always there,” Myron Higgins said. “He helped me change my life.”
Gregory Tavon Higgins’ release from prison last year allowed them to grow even closer, pursuing music and business ventures together. Myron Higgins raps under the name “Sun of Baltimore,” and his uncle persuaded him during the Freddie Gray unrest to film a video for an old song that suddenly had new meaning.
The video shows Myron rapping about black power with the uprising as a backdrop. “I’m think I’m Malcolm X/Martin Luther/Comrade George/Huey Newton … Power to the People/We ’bout to set it off,” he raps.
Gregory Tavon Higgins was convicted of second-degree murder and robbery with a deadly weapon in 1995 and was released from prison in 2003. An assault conviction and a violation of probation in 2005 sent him back to prison until June 2014.
Police said they have “persons of interest” in the slaying, but do not know the motive for the crime.
Myron Higgins doesn’t know why his uncle was killed, either. “It’s just so disheartening. The people I would go to for any information, it’s just too heavy on my heart to even search for that information,” he said.
He said his uncle had bought tow trucks, was starting a trucking company, did home renovation work, and was enrolled in trade school to become an auto mechanic. They had to give up a music space in May because they were unable to pay the bills.
Filmmaker Teresa Davis features Myron Higgins in her projects and had gotten to know his uncle.
“God knew exactly when he was going to take Gregory Higgins,” she said. “He gave him this year and some months to come home and be a whole man again.”
His loss has left Myron Higgins searching for answers. He said even when his uncle was incarcerated, their bond was like “telepathy.”
“I’m really trying to find my way, by myself,” he said. “I’m just dealing with it in a metaphysical and spiritual way, to find that peace within myself.”
Killed by shooting, 7/12/15 6:55 AM, 2100 E Eager Street.
Frederick Samuel Taylor was one of two people shot in a July 12 incident; the other victim, who has not been identified, survived. Taylor spent much of the past 15 years in prison, after being charged with attempted first-degree murder in 2002 and pleading guilty to first-degree assault. Family members could not be located.
Killed by shooting, 7/12/15 2:32 AM, 1800 E Federal St.
Marvin Coston Jr. was shot multiple times in the back near where police say he lived. A neighbor said the family moved after Coston was killed, and they could not be reached for comment. Police are investigating whether he was killed in a dispute over a handgun.
Killed by shooting, 7/12/15 8:46 PM, 3400 Chesterfield.
Tona Burrell, Steven Justin Lewis’ fiancee and girlfriend of 11 years, keeps Lewis’ ashes on a table in her living room. Three weeks after his death, the urn was surrounded by sympathy cards and a bursting bouquet of flowers, just starting to wilt, sent from loved ones after his funeral.
“He didn’t deserve this,” she said. “It’s hard for me to grasp onto the fact that he’s gone.”
Burrell described Lewis as a caring person and said his generosity transcended his life through organ donation.
“I do know his heart, pancreas, liver and kidneys was donated, so even in death he was still wanting to help someone,” she said.
Burrell said Lewis was a stepfather to her three boys — ages 22, 17, and 16 — and “they loved him.”
Burrell recently found two homemade cards her kids gave Lewis for Father’s Day years ago, one of which is decorated with stickers and handwriting that reads, “I owe you one clean room.”
Burrell said the couple rarely argued and did everything together, from having cooking contests to getting Burrell’s nails done.
“He would pick out the color,” she said with a laugh. “That’s how close we were.”
The couple met in Cherry Hill, Burrell said, and they had an instant connection.
“He always told me ‘I used to tell my friends I’ma get that girl right there.’ And I said ‘Well, you got me.’”
They became engaged last June. They didn’t have a date set but were planning a summer wedding on the beach, Burrell’s choice.
Burrell said Lewis was her soul mate and best friend.
“To me, you only find a real true love once in a life, and he was that person,” she said. “I don’t think I will ever find anyone like him ever.”
Burrell said Lewis had been working at a fertilizer plant for five years but had been let go.
“He took that hard,” she said. “He was a very hard worker.”
Burrell said she is disheartened by Baltimore’s skyrocketing violence and is “terrified for my sons.”
“When I see something on the news about the amount of people, homicides for that month, I always think, ‘My baby is a part of that number.’ And it’s the point now that I just want to move from here,” she said. “He is not just another number added to the countless homicides, he was a wonderful person with a huge heart and his family meant everything to him.”
Killed by shooting, 7/12/15 10:31 PM, 1200 N Caroline St.
In the living room of Phyllis Poole’s apartment, beyond a poster promoting the Baltimore anti-violence program Safe Streets, hangs a large photo of her son Tyrone Johnson, a memento from his funeral.
“Everybody had so many nice words to say about my son because it’s the truth,” said Poole, 59. “They say they loved him, he was a good guy, he didn’t bother anyone, mess with nobody or anything. For somebody to do what they did to him, my heart is hurting so bad.”
Poole said Johnson had always had a great sense of humor, but might have relied on it in recent years to mask darker feelings. In 2006, Poole said, Johnson’s only son took his own life. The following year, Johnson lost his father.
“I think that took a toll on him. That crushed his heart,” she said. “He had a lot of pain inside of him.”
But despite his despair, Poole said, Johnson was thoughtful and generous.
“He’d give you his last penny. That’s the type of person he was,” she said. “I haven’t come to grips yet that he’s really gone, that I won’t see him anymore.”
Poole has two other children, but she misses her youngest, whom she called “my special guy.”
“This space is really empty in my heart right now,” she said. “I wish he would come through that screen door.”
Poole said authorities haven’t told her if they’ve made an arrest in Johnson’s death or what the motive might have been. She said she prays every night that his killer will turn himself in.
“I want answers,” she said. “I think that’s the only way [I’ll] be able to rest, is that his killer be caught. … I need to ask this person in court: ‘Why did you take my child from me?’”
Poole said she is one of many grieving mothers in Baltimore experiencing “a parent’s worst nightmare.”
“The murder rate in this city is terrible. It’s sad in my heart to see all these young men getting killed down here,” she said. “This is hurting a lot of mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers.”
Killed by shooting, 7/13/15 12:08 PM, 800 N. Belnord Ave.
Tamara Stokes hasn’t been able to tell her young children what happened to their father.
“She doesn’t even know that he’s G-O-N-E,” Stokes said, spelling out the word as her 3-year-old babbled in the background. “She doesn’t know what’s going on. She doesn’t know that he was K-I-L-L-E-D.”
Stokes was in a relationship with Robert Lee Jackson for more than five years, and had two young children with him. When they met, she said, he had just been released from prison. She said he had sought to distance himself from the streets as they built a family together.
“He did a tremendous turnaround, so suddenly that a lot of his friends, associates became angry because he chose to be family-oriented, instead of street-oriented,” Stokes said. He was working as a contractor on construction sites, she said.
But court records show his troubles weren’t entirely in the past. In May, he was indicted on drug distribution charges and was awaiting trial. Stokes said three men ran up to Jackson in broad daylight and gunned him down.
Stokes’ troubles were compounded when her house caught fire from an overheated air conditioner two weeks after Jackson’s death. The family escaped safely, but many of their belongings were destroyed.
Jackson “was a great dad,” Stokes said. “They miss him so much. It’s very hard on them; it’s very hard on me. I’m trying to be strong for them.
“I still look outside, and I keep thinking he’s going to be around the corner. But he don’t ever turn the corner.”
Killed by shooting, 7/13/15 12:29 PM, 3400 Cardenas.
The family of Ronald Davon Penn declined to be interviewed by The Sun. Police are investigating whether he was shot in a dispute over drug territory. He had been a suspect in a killing, but prosecutors dropped the charges in 2004.
Killed by shooting, 7/15/15 5:20 PM, 1 N Carey St.
Patricia Davis grew to expect a call from her son, Damon Tisdale, each day when she returned home from work.
She settled into the routine after he was released from jail. Tisdale was arrested in April on a charge of attempted murder, but it was later dropped.
After returning home, Tisdale made plans for the summer, including a trip to Ocean City. He purchased a bathing suit for his daughter in her favorite color, blue.
Tisdale had been home only about two weeks when he was killed.
Davis said police told her they don’t have any leads in the case. She suspects he was killed in retaliation for the shooting that put him in jail.
In court documents, Tisdale wrote to a judge asking for bail so he could return home. “All I did was help my friend get to the hospital,” he wrote.
After Tisdale was released, Davis said, he tried to figure out his next step in life. Court records show he had a long criminal history with mostly drug-related charges. He was a certified car mechanic but was unemployed when he was killed, his mother said.
She said he frequently got mixed up with the wrong crowd.
Davis said he was close to his children. Her grandchildren would often come to dinner at her home. His death has made it hard for them, she said, especially his daughter, whom he called “his No. 1 girl.”
His daughter wrote a note in his funeral program.
“I miss you so much and I just can’t take all this with me being so young Daddy,” she wrote. “I love you so much. It hurts that you’re not here to see me grow-up.”
She said Tisdale, her middle child, also was “very close” with his siblings.
“My daughter is taking it hard,” she said. “His brother is in prison. He’s going through changes because he’s bitter, angry.”
When Tisdale was a child, Davis said, his sister took him to see MC Hammer because he loved music and was a good dancer. But as he got older, she said, he didn’t dance anymore. He said he was too old.
Davis said his death — and not receiving a daily phone call — has “been very very hard.
“It’s still like … I just didn’t bring myself to go to his grave. It’s terrible. I’m just hoping they can bring some justice to all of these killings, not just my son’s.”
Killed by shooting, 7/15/15 11:20 PM, 6000 Belle Vista Ave.
Delvin Trusty and girlfriend Taylor Street had spent most of July 15 together, including a visit to the doctor as the birth of their child neared. He went out at night to hang out with friends, and though they were constantly in communication by text message, he didn’t respond when she asked when he was coming home.
Then came the frantic call from his mother that he had been shot, with injuries that would prove fatal.
Street said they had dated for nearly three years, after meeting at Reginald F. Lewis High School, where he was a year ahead of her. “He was very outspoken — he told the truth. He was funny. He always told me that I was different. I kept him smiling.”
They were together every day, she said. When she got pregnant, he was initially scared, she believes. As the months went on, he became excited, and she recalls lying in bed with him going over names. Avah, the name they settled on, was his idea.
Trusty had worked at Wal-Mart and for FedEx, but was out of work at the time of his death. Street said no one has told her about a motive for his killing.
“It’s not going to make me feel better at the end of the day,” she said.
Police said Trusty, who did not have a criminal record, was carrying a gun at the time of the shooting, and they are investigating whether he was tied to recent crimes in the area.
Street gave birth to Avah on Aug. 15, one month to the day that Trusty was killed. His relatives were present at the hospital, and they have been supporting her since. After coming home from the hospital, she visited Trusty’s grave site. She still texts him, sending pictures of the baby, and posts messages to him on social media.
In one recent message, she wrote. “My boyfriend was my best friend. Now he’s my angel.”
Killed by shooting, 7/19/15 9:30 PM, 1100 N Longwood St.
Shyteak Lawrence Jr. was a friend of Freddie Gray, and was “really hurt” by his death in April, he told a news service affiliated with the Nation of Islam.
“I’m terrified to walk out here, not because of the men on the corner,” he told The Final Call newspaper. “It’s because of the officers.”
Less than three months later, Lawrence himself was shot dead. His alleged killer was his girlfriend’s former boyfriend, according to court records. The killing came after an argument turned physical, records state,
In a recent interview, Lawrence’s mother said she knows little about the case.
“I’m in limbo. I’m trying to find out myself,” Karlette Clark said.
Clark said she has been unable to bring his ashes home because she can’t pay the bill.
“I’m struggling, trying to get money together,” she said. “I’ve been going to churches, everything. It’s just terrible, horrible.”
Lawrence worked with an uncle making gold fronts and jewelry. Clark said he received his GED while incarcerated, and leaves behind two children.
Jahi Faw, an uncle, said Lawrence’s death was “a shocker, because he’s not that kind of guy. He’s the kind of guy to make everybody laugh. When I heard about it, I was thinking, ‘Who would want to kill him?’”
Clark said she was comforted by the number of people who attended his candlelight vigil.
“I didn’t realize he had so many friends,” she said.
Killed by shooting, 7/21/15 8:30 AM, 4300 Eldone Road.
Each morning, Jacqueline Cartwell would cut through the alley behind her Eldone Road house to catch the bus for work. On the day her son was killed, she happened to walk in a new direction.
“God didn’t want me to see him,” said Cartwell. “It’s a blessing that I didn’t see him.”
The route was longer than her usual trek, she said, but she wanted to avoid the tall bushes at the end of the alley. She later learned that her son, Albert Deshane “Booda” Mullen, was found dead behind those bushes.
When she arrived at the bus stop, she tried to call to her son, but he didn’t answer. Later that morning, she said, a family member called her at work. She couldn’t believe the news.
Cartwell, a mother of five, lost a son to diabetes two years ago. She said Mullen’s death hit harder.
“We accepted it more with Glenn because Glenn was a diabetic,” she said. “They killed my son, and it’s very, very hard. There’s not too many days that go by since he passed that I don’t have a moment or a few moments. It’s hard, but through prayer I’m getting better.”
The family held a funeral July 29. Cartwell said she has not returned to her home since.
“It doesn’t even feel like home anymore,” she said. “My daughter had to clear his whole room out because every time I walk past, I would just explode.”
She remembers her son as a family man. He leaves an 18-year-old daughter, a 14-year-old son and an 8-year-old son.
Killed by shooting, 7/22/15 11:00 PM, 1200 Clendenin St.
Naysha Duff, 22, and other members of her family recently lit candles at a memorial for her cousin, Jefferson Bolden. The memorial also paid tribute to Franklin Grayson, who was gunned down a few days later on the same block. Grayson was a friend, Duff said.
Bolden’s name was spelled out in candles directly in front of the house where he was shot. Duff said the family is at a loss to explain what happened.
Bolden, who had come to visit, was there for a only few minutes when a gunman opened fire. Bolden was clearly targeted, Duff said, but the motive is unknown.
“We’re confused, too; we want to know ourselves. This is our family, and it hurts,” she said.
Court records show Bolden was acquitted of a charge of attempted first-degree murder in 2003. He was convicted of a handgun charge, and eventually served four years in prison. In recent years, he had several drug and drug distribution charges.
Duff said Bolden “didn’t deserve it.”
“There is people who live a certain way, and you, you get what you signed up for. I can’t say Jeff signed up for that,” she said.
Killed by shooting, 7/22/15 12:00 AM, 600 N Payson Street.
Dominque Horrey’s fiance, Raja’ee Sincere, was shot dead outside of Horrey’s house, police say, by a gunman who had emerged from the adjacent alley. While it’s customary in Baltimore to build a memorial at the spot where someone was killed, the proximity is too much for Horrey.
Instead, she had a convoy of 50 vehicles tour Baltimore and visit Sincere’s favorite places before he was buried.
The couple met in a bikers club, and police believe he was killed in retaliation for stepping into a dispute at a motorcycle club weeks earlier. The case is unsolved.
Sincere, under the name Robert Moore, had spent 23 years in prison for a murder committed in 1991, corrections officials confirmed. Horrey said those troubles were behind him. The couple had been together for three years, and Sincere spent valuable time with Horrey’s 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.
“It’s hard when you’re used to being around someone every day and now they’re gone,” said Horrey.
Inside the house hangs a black-and-white stencil of Horrey. The couple moved to North Payson Street in November, and Sincere was making the house feel like their home.
“He was my protector, my everything,” said Horrey.
Killed by stabbing, 7/23/15 9:22 PM, 4000 Glengyle Ave.
Clerow Myers III’s family takes umbrage at the suggestion from police that he died over a $3 dispute.
They say the deadly encounter began when Myers and another man argued over money for a hotel room, but escalated when the man threatened Myers’ girlfriend and his 15-year-old brother with a knife. When Myers found out, he fought the man, who later returned and killed him, relatives said. Police said at the time the dispute was over $3 in change left over from the hotel room rental.
Clerow Myers Jr. said he taught his children to stick up for one another, but that didn’t make his son’s death any less heartbreaking. “I’m hurt that he’s gone, but I’m also proud because he did exactly what I taught him to do.”
Witnesses identified Ta-von Marrell Harris, 35, as the suspect, and police have charged him in the slaying.
Clerow Myers III was the third of five children, and as a toddler could pick up the family’s wooden coffee table. His family nicknamed him “Bamm-Bamm,” after the rambunctious character from “The Flintstones.”
He outgrew his two older sisters by the time he was 14, and acted like an eldest child to all of his siblings, relatives said. “He was very strong — mentally, physically, emotionally,” said Sache Myers, his eldest sister. “He was a leader in every sense of the word.”
At 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, Myers played football, basketball and baseball, excelling in high school and recreational leagues, his family said.
His great-aunt Sherry Chestnut said his singing voice wasn’t quite on par with his athletic abilities. But that made the performance — such as belting out Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” on the porch — even better. “Could he sing? No. Would he sing? Did we like it? Yes,” she said.
Myers worked for a moving company in Woodlawn after graduating from high school and had recently begun working as a stock room attendant at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, his family said.
Myers leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter, Karmen, whom he had been raising with his girlfriend.
Family members realize they are among many suffering from the violence in Baltimore. “It just so happened to be my brother this time,” Sache Myers said.
As tears filled her eyes, she added, “A part of me is gone forever.”
Killed by stabbing, 7/24/15 11:33 AM, 2300 Harford Rd.
Damon L. Ramsey was found surrounded by a group of people and suffering from what police initially reported were gunshot wounds. An autopsy later determined he had been stabbed multiple times in the head and neck.
Police have charged Maurice Levern Page, 59, of Catonsville with first-degree murder in Ramsey’s death. In a police report, detectives wrote that Ramsey went inside a woman’s car without permission, and on CCTV footage is shown arguing with her. A short time later, Page is seen stabbing Ramsey twice, police said the footage shows.
The family for Ramsey, whose last known address was in Aberdeen, could not be located.
Killed by shooting, 7/24/15 12:00 AM, 2700 Kennedy Ave.
Daquan Mason, remembered as someone with a “protective spirit,” died after aiding an acquaintance, according to police.
Relatives could not be reached for comment, but police said he was an “innocent victim.”
“A family member, or someone he refers to as a family member, was getting picked on by a group of guys in front of a bar,” said police homicide unit commander Capt. Donald Bauer. “He steps in and intervenes, and winds up getting shot.”
An online obituary said Mason graduated from Antioch Diploma Plus High School, a public charter school, in 2013 and worked for a rehabilitation center and at McDonald’s. He “enjoyed spending time with friends, daily breathing exercises, skateboarding, playing his video games and making music.”
It added, “No matter what he did, he did it to perfection. He was a very compassionate person with a protective spirit.”
Killed by shooting, 7/25/15 2:00 AM, 1800 W Saratoga St.
Candece Pierce, five months pregnant with Charles Diggs' child, has installed video cameras around her home since his unsolved killing.
"I'm just constantly in fear," Pierce said.
She said she and Diggs were "off and on" for nine years, and he helped her care for a daughter with cerebral palsy. He had a 17-year-old son of his own.
Pierce said Diggs was a "really nice, caring person," though acknowledged he was not "into the right activities." She said he dealt marijuana in the neighborhood, and suspects that may be behind his death. She's frustrated with police, who she said haven't communicated with her enough about the case. "I don't think they even care," she said.
Killed by shooting, 7/26/15 1:10 AM, 4800 Alhambra Ave.
Jaswinder Singh — killed in a robbery — came to America from India four years ago, against the advice of his relatives.
“Before he left, we had constant fights. I contended desperately against his going to the USA, but he wouldn’t listen,” his mother, Nirmal Kaur, told The Tribune, a newspaper in India.
In Baltimore, he was working for a carryout and was shot while making a delivery, police said. Marlo Lomax Jr., 20, was arrested after an eyewitness gave a description of the shooter, police said. No one at the York Road carryout where he worked responded to messages seeking comment.
Singh’s death has had a far-reaching impact, according to his brother Jitender Singh, who told The Tribune, “The news of his killing has devastated my family. My father seems lost and my mother is inconsolable.”
Killed by shooting, 7/26/15 7:43 PM, 5500 Rubin Ave.
Camitto Taylor said her nephew, Marcus Downer, was destined to become a Hollywood actor.
As a student at Cardinal Shehan School and the Baltimore School for the Arts, he acted in plays such as “The Wiz” and “The Lion King.” He and his mother were planning to move to California in two years, to give him a shot at an acting career.
“A young man like Marcus had such potential,” said Tony Tsendeas, his acting teacher at the School for the Arts. “There are people who are naturally engaging, and Marcus was one of them. To think that that smile was extinguished is heartbreaking.”
Taylor, 51, has lived in the 5500 block of Rubin Ave. for four decades, and Downer’s killing was the first shooting she can recall.
When she headed to a nearby convenience store, her nephew was outside with friends. Soon after she returned, a neighbor broke the news: “Something happened to Marcus.”
Police say the killing was the result of an argument. The case is open.
Tsendeas remembers Downer as a compassionate person who had “a real gift for comedy.”
Downer’s brother, Uche Obua, agreed.
“He always tried to bring joy to everyone he came across,” said Obua. “You couldn’t really have a rough day around him. He always had you smiling.”
Killed by shooting, 7/27/15 7:20 PM, 2300 Druid Hill Ave.
Franklin Grayson was gunned down in the same block, the 1200 block of Clendenin St., in which another man, Jefferson Bolden, was killed days earlier. On a recent night the secluded street, which runs for two blocks just off North Avenue near Reservoir Hill, featured three memorials with lit candles — one for Bolden, one for Grayson, and a third for Michael Polston, who was killed a few blocks away.
“We’re just showing the respect they deserve,” said Sheila Brown, 42. “These are people we see every single day.”
Police said they believe Grayson was a member of the Bloods gang, and that the motive involves drug robberies.
Naysha Duff, 22, who was Bolden’s cousin and Grayson’s friend, said they “really didn’t deserve it.”
Killed by shooting, 7/28/15 11:04 PM, 1400 Bloomingdale Rd.
Lorod Warner lived in Randallstown with his aunt Esther Carroll, following the death of his mother three years ago from cancer.
“He never really got in trouble,” Carroll said. “He wasn’t in no gangs or anything like that.”
But she said Warner was constantly pulled back toward the city, frequently visiting the Poplar Grove area of West Baltimore, where he grew up. “They want to see their friends. You can’t tell them where to go,” she said.
Carroll said he graduated from Yo! Baltimore, a program for out-of-school youth, and had participated in Job Corps, where he was pursuing carpentry work.
“It was a good opportunity, but he didn’t want to stay there,” she said.
In 2014, he was sentenced to a year in jail for a robbery in the city. Just before reporting to jail, he posted on Facebook that the death of his mother weighed on his mind: “I sure do wish my mother was here cuz i kinda dnt feel da same with out her being here.”
Killed by shooting, 7/29/15 7:00 PM, 2200 Annapolis Rd.
At age 16, Teon Simms was convicted as an adult of killing another teenager in a robbery on Annapolis Road in Westport and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Simms had been free for the past three years and working on his second chance at life when he was gunned down along that same stretch of road.
Simms family hoped he would avoid that fate, but his mother acknowledged that he had struggled to adjust after spending so much time in prison. “He was really just a kid” at the time of his arrest, said Diane Glenn.
“He thought he knew how it was out here, but he didn’t,” she said. “He had so much on his mind. He used to talk to me, cry all the time. He said, ‘I can’t get myself back together.’”
Just prior to his release, his father died of cancer. “His father meant a lot to him; he was so hopeful to get out to see his father, but he never got the chance,” Glenn said.
Simms had stayed out of trouble after his release in April 2012, with no new arrests on his record. Glenn said he was trying his hand at a few jobs, but had physical problems that tripped him up.
Glenn doesn’t know why someone would want to kill her son, but she said she’s been told by people who were there that he was specifically targeted. He was on a porch with some other people when a gunman ran up and shot him.
“I don’t know if it was stuff that happened back in the day, or what,” she said.
Killed by shooting, 7/30/15 11:38 AM, 3400 Elmora Ave.
Although Detective Roderick Mitter has seen plenty of violence in his 10 years with the Baltimore Police Department, his nephew’s death really hit home.
“I was telling somebody ... ‘You get numb to it. It’s just work,’” he said at the time. But when it comes to family, “it’s totally different. I wasn’t just Roderick the police officer. I was someone who lost someone.”
The detective, who investigates nonfatal shootings and stabbings, was working at the police station when his mother sent word that a family member had been shot. Within minutes, Mitter made his way to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
When he learned the victim’s identity, he called his nephew’s mother to break the news.
“I let her know he’s gone,” Mitter said. “No mother wants to hear that.”
The detective has lost a family member before. Last year, his brother, Charles Mitter, died after being stabbed and shot, Baltimore County police said.
Killed by shooting, 7/31/15 12:00 AM, 4500 Edmondson Ave.
Donte Dixon Jr., was a popular Baltimore-area rapper, whose lyrics often depicted the troubles of growing up in a violent city.
“You don’t grind, you don’t shine, that’s the motto where I’m from. … Make my local police salary in less than a month, that’s the reason they harassing me to put me in those cuffs,” he rapped in one song.
Dixon, who went by the name G-Rock, fell in love with rap music at an early age, relatives said. He was part of a rap group called Teflon Dons.
“He was an outgoing person, fun,” said James Jones, a friend. “A lot of people loved him. He was a good guy. He didn’t start no trouble. He tried to stay away from stuff like that.”
Jones, 24, said he’s seen several friends killed this year. “I’ve had enough. I’ve seen too many people killed.”
Jones said he and Dixon — who leaves behind two children, Dash and Daniyah Dixon — chatted about music just hours before his death. Jones said he had just shown Dixon edits he made to a music video for Dixon’s song “Slow Down.” Jones said the two often worked together at a studio on Patapsco Avenue.
Dixon had released five solo mix tapes and a sixth mix tape, “G-Rock Mayweather 3,” is anticipated to be sold soon said his family. All proceeds will benefit Dixon’s children said Keon Mack, cousin.
“He was like a brother,” said Mack. “When I had nowhere to go, he opened up his door for me, fed me and clothed me. He was in my corner when I felt like no one was.”
Killed by shooting, 7/31/15 12:00 PM, 2900 Springhill Ave.
Edwin Mickens, 63, was getting up for the day when a neighborhood kid buzzed his doorbell and said Mickens’ younger brother, Gregory V. Tynes, had been shot nearby. Still clad in boxers, Mickens ran up the street to see his brother unconscious in the gutter, suffering from multiple shotgun blasts.
“All the dope kids heard it, but nobody saw it,” Mickens said recently.
Tynes was the oldest of July’s homicide victims, at 59 years of age. He was a retired Air Force veteran who had worked as a private investigator and maintenance man, and at a music store. At the time of his death, he was disabled.
“He was 59 years old and walked with a cane. It’s ridiculous,” Mickens said. “He’s an innocent old man.”
Police Capt. Donald Bauer, the commander of the homicide unit, said police believe Tynes was a “victim of circumstance” but declined to elaborate due to the ongoing investigation.
Mickens and Tynes lived together in a home passed down by their parents, on a leafy, secluded street down the hill from Reisterstown Road that abuts the MARC train line. Unlike much of the surrounding area there are few vacancies, and residents take clear pride in their homes. But nearby is a “dope strip,” Mickens said, where drugs flourish.
Tynes may have smoked marijuana from time to time, but Mickens doesn’t know of any reason why someone would want him dead. “Even if it was a pot bill, who’s going to shoot you for 20 bucks?” he said.
Tynes passed his time on the computer, streaming soul music from a station in the United Kingdom and connecting with old friends on Facebook, where in the past six months he had located a cousin.
Mickens lamented the violence. “These kids, killing kids … half of them got guns, they can’t even load it. You tell them to break it down and clean it, they wouldn’t know what you’re talking about. But they’ve got the biggest goddamn guns you’d ever want to see. I just shake my head. It be’s about nothing.”