A popular Little Italy restaurant manager and a caring grandmother mourned after separate, fatal shootings in Baltimore overnight

Ulysses Muñoz/Baltimore Sun/TNS
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Baltimore Police are investigating after the general manager of a Little Italy restaurant was killed in Fells Point. Two hours later, a 51-year-old grandmother who was working delivering food was fatally shot during a robbery in Northeast Baltimore.

Police said Chesley Patterson, 44, was shot around midnight in the 1700 block of Eastern Ave. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital by medics 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 coworkers gathered at La Scala to weep, hug and share disbelief at the killing 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 Baltimore restaurants since moving to the city decades ago, but had been at La Scala the longest. He became the heart — or maybe the pulse that kept the place moving — concocting the restaurant’s signature espresso martini.

“All the city drooling over that recipe. Chesley he made it himself,” recalled coworker Bulat Kamelov. “He was very slow behind the bar, but martini was good.”

Like many, Kamelov recalled Patterson’s warm personality both in and outside the restaurant. Patterson hired him back in 2010 when the Kazakhstan native scarcely spoke English. “He helped me when I was down... He’s always there for you.”

Madison Patterson has been living with her uncle for the past four months after she arrived seeking refuge from what she called a family drama. He promised to protect her — and help her put on some needed weight — and began by feeding her: steaks cooked well-done, the way she liked them, and crème brûlée they made together on a whim in the middle of the night.

“He would always tell me that I was his favorite and not to tell my sisters,” Madison said tearfully.

Madison described her uncle as a bon vivant who appreciated the finer things in life from his white Audi car to his Burberry cologne. He decorated his whole house for Christmas and didn’t take the trimmings down until Valentine’s Day.

He didn’t have kids or a boyfriend, but was a devoted friend and dog dad to “Lucy,” his big brown bulldog, even getting her special stairs so she could climb into his bed.

His guest room was almost never empty.

“No one was not invited,” recalled friend Marissa Kamelov, who is married to Bulat. “You could show up there at 5 o’clock. He was exceptionally comforting.”

Patterson’s killing comes months after another tragedy shook the restaurant. Last fall, bartender Marco Lemus was killed in a motorcycle accident. Patterson and his coworkers helped launch a GoFundMe campaign that raised nearly $30,000 for Lemus’ family.

Longtime friend and customer Paula Pizza said she had recently texted Patterson about her grief at Lemus’ death.

“I’m just so sick of losing so many good people,” she’d said.

About two hours after Patterson was killed, police responded to another shooting in Northeast Baltimore on the 3900 block of White Ave. in the Glenham-Belford neighborhood.

Cheryl McCormack, 51, of Nottingham, was pronounced dead at the scene by medics, police said.

McCormack, a mother of three and a grandmother, was killed during “a robbery gone bad,” police said.

Jim McCormack said his wife and another man were out Sunday night into Monday morning working for DoorDash, a delivery service, when they had car trouble and pulled over on the side of the road. He said he spoke to the man working with his wife, who told him two men then tried to rob them, and when Cheryl McCormack said no, one of the men shot her.

“To walk up to somebody at that time of night, rob them, pull a gun on them for no reason and shoot them: That’s senseless,” McCormack said outside of his Nottingham home on Monday. “It’s senseless, and it should be curbed.”

McCormack and his wife were married for 24 years and had separated, but still lived together. He described her as a nice, caring person, who was trained as a paralegal but was between jobs and who had three children and a grandson.

“When we were in our happy times, we’d help everybody out,” McCormack said. “She was a very giving individual.”

A spokesman for DoorDash said in a statementL “We are deeply saddened by this senseless attack and tragic loss of life. Our thoughts are with Ms. McCormack’s loved ones during this unimaginably difficult time.”

Police have not provided any suspect information in either killing.

Anyone with information about either shooting is asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.

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