Reporting Ron Matz
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police are trying to solve a triple murder and arson case in a Northeast Baltimore home.
Ron Matz explains why the city’s top cop is reviewing the police response.
Baltimore Police are aggressively looking for the killer in a mysterious triple homicide turned arson. It happened in the 4300-block of Nicholas Avenue early Tuesday morning.
“I saw black smoke,” said neighbor Janine Wilson.
“Frankly, it’s enormously concerning. It’s incredibly tragic,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.
Investigators say the fire was likely meant to mask the murders. The 56-year-old homeowner, his 36-year-old daughter and her 27-year-old boyfriend were all shot in the head. In fact, police say at 4:30 a.m., an anonymous 911 call came in to report gunshots at the victim’s home. Six minutes later, officers arrived and canvassed the area. At 4:59, they left, they say without enough cause to go inside. Just an hour and a half later, many calls poured in to report the flames.
Firefighters found both men dead, but the woman was clinging to life. Ultimately, she died, too—outraging many neighbors.
“Why don’t you just go in there? Two hours later, a blazing fire. She could’ve been saved, I do believe,” said one neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous.
“After hearing there were gunshots, they should’ve gone inside,” said neighbor Terry Rogers.
The police commissioner has now ordered his chief of patrol to review the timeline and all the dispatch reports to see if anything should have been done differently.
“I could be watching `Die Hard.’ I could have my surround sound on. Does that mean police should break down my door every time I watch HBO? There’s a lot of moving parts to this case,” Guglielmi said.
The most critical pieces are still missing: a murderer and a motive.
Police say the homeowner does not have a criminal past but his daughter and her boyfriend do and they’re looking to see if that may have triggered this tragedy.
Police are sifting through what they call “good physical evidence” found at the scene.