Here Are Some of Baltimore's Many May Murder Scenes

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Here Are Some of Baltimore's Many May Murder Scenes

June 4, 2015, 1:00pm

A memorial at 800 West Fayette St in Baltimore. All photos by the author

With 43 homicides, May was Baltimore's deadliest month since August 1972, when more than a quarter million additional residents called Charm City home.

I spent Sunday driving around town, visiting many of the sites of death.

At some locations, it was clear that a murder—or more than one—had taken place because they were marked with impromptu shrines. These were no easier to stomach than those that were devoid of signs of remembrance. Balloons, liquor bottles, and stuffed animals were the primary memorials; some scenes were littered with photos and cards addressed to the deceased.

Fans of HBO's The Wire might get a sick thrill out of the idea of this city experiencing a crime spree. But after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, it's less exciting than sobering to stare at stuffed animals in front of the home where a mother and her seven-year old child were murdered.

Here's what I saw.

May 1, 300 South Highland Ave: Yogesh Sheth, 49. Many in the neighborhood knew the long-time manager of the Mini Market Deli and Grocery as “Mr. Joe.” Sheth was shot and killed during a robbery attempt. Three masked men left the store empty-handed after shooting Sheth three times in the head and once in the chest.

May 4, 400 Fallsway: Jorvon Beatty, 23. Beatty was stabbed outside the Healthcare for the Homeless building.

May 14: 1000 North Mount St: Freddie Gray, 25. Freddie Gray died on April 19, one week after he was taken into custody by Baltimore cops near the Gilmor Homes housing project. His death was added to the official homicide list by police on May 14, almost two weeks after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby filed charges against six Baltimore City police officers.

May 14, 1126 Montpelier St: Melody Johnson was 30 days old when she sustained injuries in this home. At that time a medical examiner was unable to find a cause of death for the young girl. All that was known was that a head injury killed her. On May 12, the girl’s mother, Damira Latham, was being interviewed by detectives from the child abuse unit on a separate incident when she confessed to killing Johnson by slamming her daughter onto her legs, which caused the child’s head to snap back and hit a television stand.

May 15, 2400 East Hoffman St: Wade Purvey Jr., 29. Purvey was shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

May 20, 800 North Kenwood Ave: Darrell Alston, 26. Five people were shot in the incident that claimed Alston’s life. Alston, the only individual that died during the shooting was shot in the head.

May 22, 1900 Wilhelm St: James McKoy, 21. Wilhelm Street is one of those skinny streets that is, more or less, a glorified alley. When police arrived at the address they found McKoy had been shot in the head. They also found two other men that had been shot, one in the neck and another in the head. McKoy was the only one of the three that died.

May 23, 2000 Hollins St: Umika Smith, 24. Smith was shot in the waist on this block. She later died at the hospital. There were no indications of Smith’s shooting on the block, but there was this older memorial that still hung on a lamppost on the corner

May 25, 800 West Fayette St: Shaquil Hinton, 21. Hinton was found suffering from gunshot wounds in a car at this location. He was rushed to the hospital, but could not be saved. A second victim of the shooting, a female, was found in the street, she was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.

May 27, 500 E. 21st St: Unknown male. While the newspaper lists no name for the man that was shot on this street, the balloons and remnants from the candles that were lit in his honor indicate that someone knew, and cared, about him in life.

May 28, 100 Upmanor Rd: Jennifer Jeffrey-Browne, 31 and Kester Browne, seven. Browne and her son were discovered by her brother. What he found inside this house on a quiet street lined with homes with small well-landscaped front yards was that his sister and her son had been shot in the head and left inside the home.

May 29, 1100 Washington Blvd: Justin Mensuphu-Bey, 23. Mensuphu-Bey was found shot in the underarm on this block in the Pigtown neighborhood. There was no indication on the street of his death. However, like

May 31: 2000 Belair Rd: Kevin Hart, Jr., 31 and Ronnie Thomas III, 22. Hart and Thomas were both shot in the head on this block of Belair Road.

May 31, 1900 Collington Ave: Terrell Patterson, 35. Patterson was one of two men found shot in the back on this block. Patterson died from his injuries, making him the 43rd.