By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 19-year-old has been arrested after police say he beat a homeless man to death with a brick in Baltimore Tuesday morning.

“The mentality of a 19-year-old to be so young and so violent, is scary,” said Baltimore Police Department spokesperson T.J. Smith. “It’s disturbing and it kind of speaks to the breakdown somewhere along the lines that allowed him to go out on the streets and do something like this,”

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Dion Dixon has been charged with the murder of 67-year-old Randolph Cockrell.

Police say Cockrell’s body was found just before 5:30 a.m., in 3700 block of Oakmont Ave. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation found that Cockrell was sleeping on someone’s porch, which he had permission to sleep on, before he was attacked by Dixon.

Miss Diane, the owner of that home, was sound asleep inside.

“Mr. Randolph must have been trying to open the door because blood was on the door,” She said.

Police said Dixon then dragged the man across the alley, ditching the body.

“I tell you, I was shocked and hurt because he don’t bother nobody,” Miss Diane said.

It is unclear what caused Dixon to confront Cockrell, but police say Dixon began assaulting him, before chasing him from the porch, then beating him with a brick.

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Cockrell was well-known throughout the community, but police are not sure if Dixon knew him before the attack.

The incident comes in the midst of a summer surge of violence. There had been at least 10 shootings in the 24 hours up to Wednesday, including Randolph’s death at Cedonia and Radecke Ave in the northeast district, along with three homicides on Tuesday.

Toward the end of July, the city saw 15 shot in one weekend.

“There have been a number of these shootings that I know are related,” said Baltimore’s interim police commissioner Gary Tuggle. “I can’t go into details past that. As best as we can, we can try to get in front of them. We’re very sensitive to the issue of retaliation,”

Police said many of the suspects involved should not even be on the streets, like Dixon, who just two weeks ago was arrested and charged with killing an animal.

“We’re not really encountering anyone who is new to the criminal justice system when we talk about violent crimes and murders,” Smith said. “we’re talking about people who we’ve talked about before,”

Police said the victim was well known throughout the community and battled an alcohol addiction. They thanked the public for cooperation in the case to make an arrest so quickly.

The Commissioner said it is frustrating to not get the same cooperation in other cases such as the murder of 7-year-old Taylor Hayes, which remains unsolved.

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Rick Ritter