Teasing may have prompted DPW shooting

Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 17:59:16-05
Sandwiched between drug corners in a desolate area of West Baltimore, you'll find a safe haven---the 700 block of West Lanvale Street, where hard-working people and retirees look out for each other.
Cipisirono "C.J." Cole, 47, holds a special place in their hearts even though he's now a fugitive sought in the shooting death of a DPW co-worker that happened 15 blocks from here.
"I'm not nervous, because he was a nice person and I never would have thought he would have done something like this and everything.  He always shoveled my walk for me and especially took care of me after my husband passed away,” Mary Carr said. “I'm very sad about it.  I'm sorry that he went to that extreme."
Police now believe tension had been building between the two co-workers before things came to a head with the shooting on Thursday morning that took the life of 34-year-old Darrin Ulysses Johnson.
"We know that there were some arguments and disputes between them, but it appears it originated over some teasing and some back and forth and may have started as fun.  We don't know, but it's something we're continuing to investigate," T.J. Smith of the Baltimore City Police Department said.
Whether the victim or his killer was responsible for starting that back and forth, police said Cole brought the gun to work and ultimately showed he was willing to use it.
Now, word of the murder and his flight from police has reached his neighbors.
"She said, 'Oh.  Did you hear about C.J. down the street?'  I said, 'No.'  She said, 'He killed somebody on his job---a guy on his job,' neighbor Arlene Weeks said.
And it's a different picture of the man that they thought they knew so well.
"He worked for the city, and I'd see him going to work and everything,” Weeks said. “It's hard to believe now, but you just never know."
Police believe Cole may still be hiding out somewhere in the city and they caution people not to violate the law by harboring the fugitive.
If you know his whereabouts, you can call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP.

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android.