Anton Harris was found guilty of the fatal shooting of Keith Johnson in the Midtown Edmondson neighborhood
Baltimore, Md. (February 9, 2023) - Yesterday, a Baltimore City judge sentenced Anton Harris to 40 years of incarceration for Second Degree Murder and an additional 15 years, to be served concurrently, for Illegal Possession of a Firearm. Harris was convicted in January of the fatal shooting of Keith Johnson on May 4, 2022, at the 500 block of N. Pulaski Street. Assistant State’s Attorney Megan Gallo prosecuted this case.
“This case emphasizes the importance of cracking down on illegal gun possession offenses to protect our residents and communities,” said State’s Attorney Ivan J. Bates. “This defendant was willing to carry a deadly weapon and brazenly pull the trigger in broad daylight, a heinous act that warrants this lengthy sentence. I want to express my deep appreciation for MTA Officer Robinson for going above and beyond the call of duty to apprehend this dangerous individual and ASA Gallo for her skillful prosecution of this case in the pursuit of justice.”
On May 4, 2022, at approximately 3:08 p.m., officers of the Baltimore City Police Department’s (BPD) Western District responded to the 500 block of N. Pulaski Street for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers observed the victim, identified as Keith Johnson, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to Shock Trauma Hospital, where, despite medical intervention, he was pronounced deceased at 3:37 p.m.
Located at the crime scene were three bullet fragments, blood, one hat, and one cartridge casing. During the investigation, it was discovered that, after the shooting, Officer Robinson of the MTA Police Department was flagged down by a citizen in the 400 block of N. Smallwood Street. The individual stated that he witnessed a shooting and that the suspect was walking in the area of the homicide. The subject was described as a Black male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. Officer Robinson then proceeded in the direction the witness pointed in his marked patrol vehicle. Once the suspect saw the marked patrol vehicle, he fled down Franklin Street towards Wheeler Avenue. Officer Robinson exited his vehicle and came face-to-face with the individual at the intersection of Lauretta Avenue and Wheeler Avenue. Officer Robinson told him to stop, but the individual did not follow his commands. The suspect then ran behind a black SUV, where he briefly paused and then ran into the wooded area in the rear of the 2300 block of Lauretta Avenue. Baltimore City Officers from the Western District Action Team responded to assist. They created a perimeter around the wooded area between Franklin Street and Lauretta Avenue. Officers shortly after that located the suspect in the wooded area with a grey shirt on. Next to him was a black sweatshirt with yellow writing on the back, matching the description called out by the 911 caller, along with a cell phone and a hat.
Another MTA Officer on the scene located a handgun on the running board of the black SUV, where the suspect briefly paused before running into the woods. This handgun was a black 9mm Polymer 80 handgun, later determined to be a ghost gun, with one live round in the chamber. On the ground, just below the firearm, was an extended magazine loaded with 19 live rounds.
The suspect was transported to BPD’s homicide unit and identified as Anton Harris. Harris was properly advised of his Miranda Rights and stated he wanted a lawyer, at which point the interview concluded. A witness was located during the investigation and provided a recorded statement detailing the events they witnessed. They advised that they heard two gunshots and looked outside to observe a male wearing a black hoodie with a yellow stripe on the back and black pants in the middle of the street where the gunshots rang from. This was the only person on the block at the time. The male then ran southbound on Pulaski Street towards Franklin Street and turned right. The Baltimore City Police Department Firearms Analysis Unit conducted a microscopic comparison of the recovered casing to the handgun. The comparison showed that the casing on the scene was fired by the same gun the suspect discarded.
Harris was prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition at the time of his arrest due to disqualifying convictions for Possession with Intent to Distribute in 2008 and 2006.