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Police At Scene Less Than 2 Hours Before Triple Homicide, Arson

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Closer to finding a killer. Investigators make progress in a triple murder and arson in Northeast Baltimore. But some say police should have done more to stop the crime.

Adam May has the latest.

Police say they are focusing on someone who knew one of the victims. They’re also trying to figure out if first officers on the scene responded appropriately.

In the 4300-block of Nicholas Avenue, a look inside the scene of the triple murder and arson reveals smoke-covered walls in the room where one of the victims was shot in the head.

Two others were shot on the second floor, including the homeowner’s 36-year-old daughter. 

“She could have been saved ’cause she was still breathing,” said a neighbor. “She died at the hospital.”

Many neighbors feel that way. One called 911 to report gunshots two hours before the fire. 

Police say they checked the house, and then left after failing to see signs of trouble. 

“They should have tried, or gone inside,” said a neighbor.

“We have to be careful not to judge what these officers did with 20-20 hindsight,” said Andy Levy, criminal defense attorney. “If the call had come from inside the house, I think police would have aired on the side of going in the house.”

One of the things investigators are trying to determine is if the killer was still inside the house as police were knocking on the door.

“What’s optimistic is that we do have some good physical evidence from the scene,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City police spokesman.

Police report strong leads despite what may have been a close call, catching the killer before the fire.

Both the female victim and her boyfriend– also killed– had extensive criminal records.  Police say they’re focusing on someone who knew them.

That news is easing the minds of stunned neighbors.

“Real sorry for all of them and family that has to go through so much,” said Elizabeth McClean.  

The 58-year-old homeowner may have been an innocent victim in all this. Police say he did not have a criminal record.

The names of all three victims haven’t been released.

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