'AN EXCEPTIONAL INDIVIDUAL' | Murder victim mourned as Locust Point worries about safety
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - The Rowhouse Grille in Federal Hill, a neighborhood tavern, was shaken by the murder of one of its own.
"I cried, and now I'm just more in shock," said Patrick Dahlgren, the owner.
Dahlgren said Alex Wroblewski was "my manager and, more importantly, best friend."
Wroblewski worked at Rowhouse for two years. He was Dahlgren's friend for more than 12.
Someone shot and killed Wroblewski just after 1 a.m. Tuesday during a robbery, after he left Royal Farms on Key Highway.
The restaurant was back open, hours after the startling news of his murder.
"With his work ethic and the type of person he is, he would be angry if we're not open. So, we're open for him," explained Dahlgren.
It was a workplace in mourning, and a neighborhood stunned - a community of friends, said Dahlgren, that no longer has Wroblewski.
He was 41 years old. Friends said he was kind and considerate. They said he would always walk female employees home or to their car.
The Rowhouse Grille released a statement Tuesday that said: "Like so many others in South Baltimore, we at The Rowhouse are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend Alex 'Albo' Wroblewski. Albo wasn't just a colleague, or a friend; he was part of our family and embodied so much of what we all want Rowhouse to be. Albo was an exceptional individual and could always be relied upon to help his friends and colleagues. If more people were as thoughtful, caring and personable as Albo was, the world would be a better place. We know that because of the way he enhanced all of our lives. Albo may be gone, but he will always be a part of us and The Rowhouse Grille."
Institutions around the area were offering condolences to Rowhouse Grille and the broader community.
A Baltimore city councilman has received countless calls and emails from Locust Point residents now concerned about their safety.
The Locust Point community has been rattled, angry and heartbroken after the shooting.
Councilman Eric Costello, who represents the area, said: "Alex had a family. He had friends. It's devastating."
He also talked about Locust Point, noting "people who have put down roots here, who have invested by buying a home, they have their jobs here."
The neighborhood is one of Baltimore's up-and-coming areas.
Townhomes are being sold here for more than $200,000, $300,000 and $400,000.
One-bedroom apartments are renting at upwards of $2,000 per month.
And the development continues.
But Towson University chief economist Daraius Irani warns violent crime can certainly stunt this growth.
"For every 10 percent increase in violent crimes, we're looking at a 0.83 percent decrease in property values," he said.
It's a concern for those living, working and raising families here.
"Crime is the biggest issue in the city right now," said Costello. "It's a determining factor for a lot of families, and it's absolutely critical that we get it under control, and we get it under control now."
Costello said violent crime in any part of the city is unacceptable, and he is staying in close contact with police as they investigate this homicide.
He is encouraging everyone to share surveillance video released from this Royal Farms to help police find these persons of interest.