BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 19-year-old Morgan State University sophomore found shot to death in a car near his off-campus apartment was killed during what investigators believe was a robbery gone wrong.
Detectives said they think two people were trying to rob the victim, Manuel Luis, when he was shot. Investigators called it a crime of opportunity that escalated into tragedy.
Baltimore police responded to the scene around 4:50 a.m., which investigators said was hours after the shooting. No one had called 911.
Luis’ silver Acura was found just outside the security gates protecting the Morgan View Apartments student housing in the 4700 block of Loch Raven Boulevard. It had at least three bullet holes in the doors and the front window.
Police said Luis had several gunshot wounds in his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
MSU student Shree Realer recalled hearing gunshots around the time police believe Luis was shot.
“It happened at 2:22 a.m., actually, because I remember looking at the clock right after it happened,” Realer said. “It was like one gunshot and then you heard four more straight afterwards.”
The university said Luis was a business major from the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management.
In a statement, university officials said:
At approximately, 4:45 am in the early morning hours off-campus, Manuel became a tragic victim to senseless gun violence.
The Baltimore Police Department is currently leading the investigation into his death and has classified it as a homicide. There are no further details at this time.
As a community, the Morgan family collectively extends our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the Luis family. We ask that you keep them and their extended family and friends in prayer. In moments of despair, we come together and reaffirm our familial ties and bonds as Morganites. Please be reminded that counselors in the University Counseling Center are always available for those in need of assistance. The Center accepts walk-ins and calls at 443-885-3130.
Tributes to Luis poured in on Twitter, with those who knew him calling him “a young man who had a great soul” and said he could smile through anything.
Luis was also a member of the university’s freshman class student government association. That group posted a photo of him on Twitter saying, “Heaven has gained an angel.”
The shooting happened in the street, and not on the Morgan View Apartments property.
Both sides of the road were shut down as Homicide Detectives investigated. Baltimore City Police and Morgan State Police reported to the scene.
Police are asking anyone who may have heard or seen the shooting to contact them.