BPD: Surveillance Video Shows Two Suspects in Murder of Tattoo Museum Employee

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Still via YouTube/Baltimore Police Department

City police say two men are responsible for the death of Foghound bassist and Baltimore Tattoo Museum piercer James Forrester, and both are shown walking near his murder scene in surveillance footage.

The Baltimore Police Department today publicly shared a video that depicts two men walking “in the area” around the Fells Point tattoo parlor and museum where Forrester worked as a piercer. A 43-year-old West Virginia resident, Forrester was shot dead in the 1500 block of Eastern Avenue on Monday around 7:30 p.m.

Chief police spokesman T.J. Smith said Forrester was talking to his wife on the phone when he was killed. Officers responded for a report of an assault, but found him with a single, fatal gunshot wound to his chest.

The killing was likely the result of a botched robbery, Smith said. “They look like they just wanted to rob him.”

Police are seeking the public’s help with identifying both men.

Just over two hours after Forrester was murdered, Morgan State University student Jonathan Tobash was gunned down at a store in the 3500 block of Pelham Avenue in Belair-Edison. Tobash, who graduated from Poly and was an engineering major, has been described as a “promising student” by Morgan officials.

Tobash’s death was also tied to a robbery attempt, Smith said. He said the teen walked up to a store where two men were already robbing someone else, after which they turned their attention on him. When the 19-year-old resisted, the suspects shot him, according to Smith.

“This young man was stopping at the store and doing everything right, everything he could to better himself,” he said, “and some cowards with guns decided to cut his life short.”

Smith said police are “making progress” in the investigation, but declined to share details.

In an additional update, Smith said the FBI hasn’t yet responded to Police Commissioner Kevin Davis’ request that the agency assume control of the investigation into the death of Det. Sean Suiter. He said the feds must first establish “jurisdiction” over the case, which can take some time.

Det. Suiter was shot dead in a vacant lot in West Baltimore’s Harlem Park neighborhood in November. His case has drawn international attention, as Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the department, wasn’t with his regular partner that night and was later discovered to be tied up in a controversial case involving an indicted detective from the infamous Gun Trace Task Force.

The morning after his murder, Suiter was set to testify against the detective, who allegedly planted narcotics on two suspects in 2010 to dupe Suiter into arresting them. The men were convicted of drug charges and spent years in prison before prosecutors discovered they had been wrongly convicted. They were subsequently set free and had their convictions overturned this week.

City police haven’t announced any suspects in Suiter’s killing, and have made little publicly known progress in the investigation. Commissioner Davis asked the FBI to take over the probe just over three weeks ago.

Anyone with information on any of the three cases is asked to call police at 410-396-2100, call Metro Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-866-7LOCKUP or submit a tip via text to 443-902-4824.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Associate Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan is Baltimore Fishbowl's associate editor. He previously covered Baltimore-area news as a web producer for Fox45/WBFF-TV. Before arriving in Baltimore, he worked as an assistant editor for CQ Researcher in Washington D.C., and a reporter for Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. Look for his freelance bylines in Baltimore City Paper and DCist.
Ethan McLeod
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