Baltimore police are investigating the death of the general manager of a Little Italy restaurant in Fells Point. Two hours later, a 51-year-old grandmother who worked as a food delivery boy was shot and killed during a robbery in northeast Baltimore.
Police say Chesley Patterson, 44, was shot dead around midnight in the 1700 block of Eastern Avenue. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital by doctors and pronounced dead a short time later, police said.
Patterson was the general manager of La Scala restaurant in Little Italy, located less than half a mile from where he was killed.
On Monday afternoon, friends, family and colleagues gathered at La Scala to mourn, hug and share their disbelief at the murder of “Chesco,” whose identity they said was interchangeable with the Little Italy trattoria where he worked for 17 years.
The Chambersburg, Pennsylvania native had worked at various restaurants in Baltimore since arriving in the city decades ago, but he had been at La Scala the longest. He became the heart – or perhaps the pulse that moved the place – by concocting the restaurant’s signature espresso martini.
“The whole town is drooling over this recipe. Chesley, he did it himself, ”recalls his colleague Bulat Kamelov. “He was very slow behind the bar, but the martini was good.”
Like many, Kamelov recalled Patterson’s warm personality inside and outside the restaurant. Patterson took him on in 2010 when the Kazakhstan native barely spoke English. “He helped me when I was down… He’s always there for you.”
Madison Patterson has been living with her uncle for four months after he arrived seeking refuge from what she called family drama. He promised to protect her – and help her gain the weight she needed – and began by feeding her: well-cooked steaks, the way she liked them, and cremes brulee which they made together on a whim. in the middle of the night.
“He always told me that I was his favorite and not to tell my sisters,” Madison said in tears.
Madison described her uncle as a bon vivant who enjoyed the finer things in life, from his white Audi car to his Burberry cologne. He decorated his entire house for Christmas and only took the trimmings off on Valentine’s Day.
He had no children or boyfriend, but was a devoted friend and dog dad to “Lucy”, his big brown bulldog, who even had her special stairs for her to climb into bed.
His spare room was almost never empty.
“No one was invited,” recalled friend Marissa Kamelov, who was married to Bulat. “You could report there at 5 o’clock. He was exceptionally comforting.
Patterson’s murder comes months after another tragedy rocked the restaurant. Last fall, bartender Marco Lemus was killed in a motorcycle accident. Patterson and her colleagues helped launch a GoFundMe campaign that raised nearly $30,000 for Lemus’ family.
Longtime friend and customer Paula Pizza said she recently texted Patterson about her grief at Lemus’ death.
“I’m so sick of losing so many good people,” she said.
About two hours after Patterson’s death, police responded to another shooting in northeast Baltimore on the 3900 block of White Ave. in the neighborhood of Glenham-Belford.
Cheryl McCormack, 51, of Nottingham, was pronounced dead at the scene by medics, police said.
McCormack, a mother of three and grandmother, was killed in a “robbery gone wrong”, police said.
Jim McCormack said his wife and another man went out from Sunday evening to Monday morning to work for DoorDash, a delivery service, when they had car trouble and stopped on the side of the road. He said he spoke to the man who worked with his wife, who told him that two men then tried to rob them, and when Cheryl McCormack said no, one of the men shot him.
“To walk up to someone at this time of night, rob them, shoot them for no reason and shoot them: it’s insane,” McCormack said outside his Nottingham home on Monday. “It’s insane, and it needs to be stopped.”
McCormack and his wife had been married for 24 years and had separated, but still lived together. He described her as a kind and caring person, who trained as a paralegal but was between jobs and had three children and a grandson.
“When we were in our happy times, we were helping everybody out,” McCormack said. “He was a very generous person.”
A DoorDash spokesperson said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by this senseless attack and tragic loss of life. Our thoughts are with Ms. McCormack’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.
Police have not provided any suspicious information in either murder.
Anyone with information about either shooting is asked to call Homicide Detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.