Three days after two shootings in downtown Frederick — one of which resulted in the county’s first homicide of the year — police have stepped up patrols in the area.
Captain Thomas Ledwell of the Frederick Police Department said Maryland State Police and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the effort.
“We’ve got our criminal investigations ongoing,” he said. “We’re looking into more long-term investigations of crime. We want high visibility in terms of patrols, and we’re looking at the long term.”
The surge was announced Tuesday, the day after about 40 friends and family members gathered for a candlelight vigil night near the downtown Frederick alley where Lamont George-Lee Ellis was gunned down Sunday.
The assembled crowd took turns sharing stories of Ellis, mostly about his perpetual smile and love of basketball.
Erin Dwyer of Gaithersburg said she’d known Ellis for years and came to Frederick to pay her respects.
“He always had a big smile on his face,” she said.
Police found Ellis, 36, of Urbana suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in Mullinix Alley, which runs adjacent to West All Saints Street.
They are investigating the case as a homicide, the first this year in the city and Frederick County.
“We think he was leaving the downtown area from a night out,” said Lt. Clark Pennington, a spokesman for the Frederick Police Department. “Part of an investigative strategy is to backtrack where a person was and who a person was with, and that’s what we’re doing now.”
Officers were called to investigate shots fired in the 100 block of West All Saints Street, where they found Ellis shortly before 2 a.m., Pennington said.
Ellis was transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Pennington said. He did not say how many times Ellis had been shot.
Ellis’ body was taken for an autopsy to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.
Shaun Westphall of Gaithersburg said she was Ellis’ stepmother.
“He was a happy, carefree guy,” she said. “He was very family oriented. We have a large, very extended family, and he was always trying to be a good father. ... He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Pennington said the department did not yet have any suspects whose names could be released.
“We need to put our pieces together,” he said.
The area near the shooting has been a source of complaint among residents concerned about crime.
Police Chief Kim Dine held a meeting last week with residents and the county liquor board to discuss an incident in which shots were fired and complaints of vandalism near the Bentz Street Sports Bar on nearby Bentz Street.
And shortly before the Monday vigil, police responded to a call for gunshots in the 400 block of West South Street, roughly three blocks away.
In that incident, a fight involving multiple people escalated into a stabbing, according to police. The victim was transported to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, but was treated and released.
Police ask that anyone with information about the slaying to contact Detective Rob Marker at 301-600-1242, or via the tip line at 301-600-8477, or FPDCrimeTip@frederickmdpolice.org.