In the wee hours of the morning Wednesday, in the basement of a Westport home, it appears three men set out to videotape a test involving body armor and a handgun, which would leave one of them dead.
"They were making a movie. I don't know what it was all about. She told me they were making a movie," said a nearby neighbor, Frances Thompson.
Whether the trio had hoped to post their shocking test on YouTube or just did it as a stunt, it backfired.
"The suspect fires a handgun at the victim. At the time the victim was wearing a bulletproof vest,” said Sgt. Jarron Jackson of the Baltimore City Police Department, “Unfortunately, the round struck above the vest and the victim died because of his injuries."
"You know, I don't want to speculate as to why the suspect and the victim were (doing) what they were engaged in. What I can say is it's an unfortunate incident and one we hope to avoid again."
According to charging documents, police recovered a video in which 28-year-old Darnell Mitchell dons the vest and announces he's ready to take quote—‘deuce deuce in the chest’. In was one of seven homicides over the past four days in Baltimore City
Mark Ramiro, 30, can then be seen firing a shot from a 22-caliber handgun and Mitchell collapsing.
The other men loaded him into a vehicle and drove him to a nearby hospital, but it was too late.
Ramiro now faces a first-degree murder charge, but those who knew the shooter and his victim say they lived together and worked together, and they're not buying it.
"Accident. I think it was an accident," said Thompson, "No. No. No. They were very best friends. No. I'm sorry. They were very best friends."
Police say they're still investigating where the men got the handgun and the bulletproof vest they used in the so-called stunt.