Charmaine Wilson, 37, called police Monday night. One of her sons had been bullied and his bike seat was stolen. Another confronted the people he believed were responsible, and was assaulted.
Officers responded and took a report. Right after they left, Wilson — a mother of eight — was approached by an unknown suspect and shot to death.
“It’s a petty dispute that’s resolved with gun violence,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Wednesday morning.
Mayor Catherine Pugh, who appeared with Davis at City Hall to discuss recent violence in the city, said such incidents “pique people’s fears, because they think they can’t get engaged in the process of trying to help us reduce crime.”
“We want to protect anybody who wants to come forward,” she said. “We don’t want this to happen to anybody who wants to step up and help us reduce the violence that’s happening in the city.”
About four hours after Wilson was killed in West Baltimore, Sebastian Dvorak, 27, was shot to death on Boston Street in Canton.
Police spokesman T.J. Smith said Wednesday the shooting appears to have occurred during a robbery. Investigators believe there might be more than one suspect. They released surveillance video featuring persons of interest.
Dvorak was a bartender at several Ryleigh’s Oyster locations, including in Mount Vernon and Hunt Valley. Brian McComas, the chain’s owner, said Dvorak was meant to work on Tuesday afternoon but never showed up for his shift.
His killing was “hitting the Ryleigh’s family pretty hard,” McComas said.
“It just shows you that this kind of stuff is far-reaching and is reaching epic proportions,” McComas said. “It’s just out of control.”
Dvorak’s family could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Dvorak and Wilson were two of six people killed in Baltimore between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon. Twelve people were shot in that span.
Police said officers were called to a local hospital about 1:31 a.m. Wednesday and located another victim: a 25-year-old man who had been shot in the arm.
Police said he was “being highly evasive and refusing to cooperate with investigators,” so they did not know where the shooting had occurred.
There have been 159 homicides in Baltimore in 2017 — a historic pace.
Davis on Tuesday said he would send every sworn officer in the department capable of being deployed out onto the streets for a week. Patrol officers and detectives are to work 12-hour shifts instead of the standard 10-hour shifts.
Police on Wednesday identified other victims from the recent spate of violence.
A man who was shot to death in his car in the 1100 block of Mount Holly St. in Edmondson Village about 8:20 p.m. Monday was identified as Marco Stevenson, 22, of the 4300 block of Cedar Garden Road. Police have said they have no motive in the killing.
A man and woman who were shot to death in a quadruple shooting in the 1200 block of Bonaparte Ave. in East Baltimore Midway about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday were identified as Antonio Griffin, 26, of the same block, and Tereze Pinkney, 22, of the 4800 block of Bowland Ave.
The two other victims in the shooting survived. Davis said police had determined a “drug and gang nexus” in the shooting, but did not elaborate.
Police previously identified Rodney Wheatley, 28, as the man shot to death about 8:35 p.m. Monday in the 200 block of S. Bentalou St. in the Millhill neighborhood of Southwest Baltimore. Police said they believe Wheatley was engaged in a drug dispute with a suspect. They said they had identified a person of interest in the shooting.
Police had also previously identified Wilson, the mother who was shot about 10:35 p.m. Monday in the 1700 block of Gertrude St. in West Baltimore.
Wilson lived on the block. Her family could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Officers were back on the block Wednesday afternoon knocking on doors and looking for tips that could lead them to the people responsible for Wilson’s death.
A woman who identified herself as Wilson’s daughter shouted at the officers as they walked the block, accusing them of only pretending to care after not being there for her mother when she needed them. She said she held her mother in her arms as she died.
“Nobody was here when I was holding my mother. Nobody. She took her last breath. None of these police officers was here,” the woman said.
Smith said the officers who took Wilson’s report Monday night were still in the area investigating the alleged assault of her son — checking cameras at a convenience store around the corner — when she was shot.
He called the shooting “reckless and egregious,” and said it “should outrage the entire community, the entire city.”
Smith also said it should not stop citizens from providing tips to the police.
“We can’t allow this to discourage us. That’s what those bad guys want. They want to be able to run the streets and do whatever they want and think that nobody’s going to call” the police, Smith said. “We need the community to continue to call.”
He said the crime’s brazenness “underscores the reason why we should collectively band together to make sure that [criminals] can’t operate with absolute impunity.”
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City confirmed it also was “looking into this tragic situation,” but could not release any additional information. The family lives in The Dukeland, a public housing development on Gertrude Street.
Davis said the officer who responded to Wilson’s call did his job properly.
The “appropriate focus” was arresting the person responsible for “the brazen and callous act of killing this woman,” he said. “And that’s what we’re going to do.”
Davis again blamed the violence in the city in part on what he says are Maryland’s lax gun possession laws.
“It’s a petty dispute that’s resolved with gun violence because [the shooter] has access to a firearm, because he chooses to arm himself and in a society and a state that doesn’t view the illegal possession of a firearm as a serious crime,” he said.
Police on Tuesday released data from gun cases in the city since January 2016 that showed that 60 percent of the defendants found guilty had more than half of their sentence suspended. The department said individuals out on a suspended sentence or on probation for a gun arrest often re-offend.
Pugh said officials are “not taking this seriously at the court level enough in terms of the sentences.”
She said Baltimore and surrounding jurisdictions are prepared to go to Annapolis together next year to push for a change in the law.
Pugh and Davis backed a bill this year that would have imposed a minimum one-year sentence, which could not be suspended, for repeat gun offenders. Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for Pugh, said she doesn’t think a first illegal gun posession offense should be a felony, but that subsequent gun arrests should.
Any change would not go into effect until summer 2018.
McComas, the Ryleigh’s owner, said Dvorak was “a young guy with a lot of life ahead of him,” and a hard worker.
Officers who responded to the 2500 block of Boston St. about 2:45 a.m. Tuesday found Dvorak shot and bleeding from the forehead, police said.
“You could call on him to come in and cover a shift and he’d walk in and be happy to do it,” McComas said. “He was one of the good guys. Responsible. Pitched in all the time.”
“He was just a fun, happy, young guy with lots of life ahead of him,” McComas said. “That just got stolen.”
Police asked anyone with information to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100, text a tip to 443-902-4824 or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP.