For Immediate Release 8/22/2017
West Baltimore— Frederick Catchings pled guilty to two counts of attempted first degree murder and the use of a handgun during the commission of a crime of violence. The SAO’s Major Investigation Unit (MIU) Chief Gerald Collins and Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Sambataro prosecuted the case.
On June 25, 2016, at approximately 1:00 p.m., Baltimore Police Department officers responded to 1400 block of North Mount Street in West Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood on a report of a shooting. On the scene, officers found an individual who was suffering from gunshot wounds lying in the street. The victim was transported to University of Maryland Shock Trauma and taken immediately into surgery. Shooting detectives were notified and responded to the crime scene.
After securing the scene, investigators discovered a city operated closed circuit television camera in the area. A review of the video revealed that the victim was walking northbound on North Mount Street when a black SUV pulled up to an intersecting street. An occupant was then observed exiting the vehicle from the passenger side, and running around the back of the vehicle in the victim’s direction. The person then ran behind the victim and shot him at close range. The victim then fell to the street as the shooter re-entered the vehicle and fled the scene.
Days later, on July 6, 2016, officers responded to the 1300 block of North Freemont Avenue on a report of a shooting. On the scene, officers located three victims all suffering from gunshot wounds to their extremities. Witnesses advised investigators that at approximately 10:30 a.m., a group of people were congregating near a wall in the block when a blue Honda pulled up to that location. Witnesses stated that a male suspect exited the vehicle from the driver’s side, approached the people at the wall, then said “What’s up now?!” The suspect then began firing a handgun—striking all three. The crime scene was processed, and four 9mm shell casings and two bullet fragments were recovered.
Catchings was identified as the perpetrator of the July 6, 2016 shooting via photo array. Due to this information, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
On July 8, 2016, officers were traveling by vehicle in the 3500 block of Northern Parkway, when they observed a blue Honda also driving in that area. Officers recognized that the Honda matched the suspected vehicle from the July 6, 2016, shooting on North Freemont Avenue. After pulling next to the vehicle, officers were able to see and identify the front passenger as Catchings. Knowing that Catchings had an open warrant, officers attempted to follow the Honda. It was ultimately stopped in the 5900 block of Winner Avenue.
Once stopped, all occupants were removed from the vehicle. On the floor, directly in front of the passenger seat where Catchings was seated was a yellow bag. Observed through the vehicle window in plain view was a firearm inside the bag. Recovered from the bag was a Berretta 9mm handgun, as well as other items including a plastic bag with eleven live 9 mm rounds of ammunition. A subsequent examination of the Beretta firearm revealed that it was the weapon that fired the ballistics evidence recovered from both the June 25, 2016 and July 6, 2016 shootings.
Following his arrest, and after being advised of his Miranda rights, Catchings was interviewed by law enforcement. While being questioned about the shooting on June 25, 2016, Catchings was advised that closed circuit television video captured the incident. Upon hearing this information, Catchings confessed to shooting that victim. Specifically, Catchings stated that he knew the victim from an on-going conflict with some of his associates. Catchings further stated that he believed his victim was contracted to shoot him, and as a result he went out, found the victim, and shot him first.
Law enforcement continued their investigation into the activities of Catchings by listening to calls made by him and his associates while incarcerated. On July 14, 2016, Catchings was overheard on a jail call discussing threats to harm one of the July 6, 2016 victims in an attempt to prevent them from coming to court.
Catchings was sentenced to Life, suspend all but 32 years, in prison for his crimes.
“Retaliatory violence will not be tolerated and today's sentence is indicative of that fact,“ said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I am pleased to know that our Major Investigations Unit was able to secure a conviction and a lengthy sentence for an individual, who obviously has no regard for human life. Our city is better off because of it."