Vigil Held for Gay Baltimore Man Killed in Street Shooting
Baltimore police are currently investigating the shooting of a gay man who was killed Friday morning as he was talking to friends on the steps of his house, the the Washington County Herald-Mail reported.
Joseph Alexander "Alex" Ulrich Jr., 40, was shot multiple times in the torso while talking to friends on the front steps of his home at 4 a.m. Friday. He was pronounced dead later that morning.
A spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department said that detectives currently do not have any suspects.
"At this point, we're still up in the air," Donny Moses said. "We're hoping someone will come forward." He told the newspaper that Ulrich's friend, Lawrence Peterson, 56, was also shot in the torso and is in critical condition. The spokesman also said that the incident occurred in a wealthy section of Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood. Lawrence is well known in the community and was known as Mount Vernon's "unofficial mayor."
Moses said police do not have a motive but Ulrich's brother, James Ulrich, claims authorities told his family that four people walked by the men as they were talking and two of them tried to rob the victim's friends.
The Baltimore Sun notes that hundreds of people attended a vigil held Tuesday in Ulrich's honor, including his family. The vigil was held in Smithsburg, a town in Central Maryland that was Ulrich's hometown.
"Alex loved Baltimore. He loved walking around, visiting with friends, going to the Walters Art Gallery, loved the park, loved this area," Ulrich's mother, Rose Ulrich. "This is a safe place. It'll get safer. And the people who live in this area can be assured that everything is being done to find out who did this."
The incident has raised awareness in the neighborhood but has also helped bring people together as local stores are now displaying police fliers offering a reward for information about the shootings.
"I've never seen the community so strong," Robert Lynch, a 26-year-old technology consultant who knew both victims, said. "The flooding of support and love and friendship in the community, it's what's been holding everyone up."
Police statistics show that more than 30 robbers have been reported in Mount Vernon this year and Anthony Guglielmi, the police department's chief spokesman, said there would be an increase of commanders in the neighborhood.
"The chief of patrol [Col. Dean Palmere] is questioning the deployment in the Central District to make sure it's sufficient," Guglielmi said. "The community needs a show of force, and we need to find out who's responsible for this violence. We'll pour in everything we can to figure that out."