- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 5, 2002

He usually came home around 5 p.m. He usually sat on the porch of his Petworth row house and talked to neighbors. He was usually inside when evening came.

But shortly after 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Pascal Charlot, 72, decided to take a bus to an uptown store, neighbors said. It was there, on the corner of Kalmia Road and Georgia Avenue NW, that he became a sniper's sixth victim.

"He was a friendly person," said neighbor Karen Archer. "He brought in my garbage for me. He often helped people in the neighborhood and wouldn't charge them. He was going to help repair a door next week. He was just a real nice man."

Mr. Charlot was originally from Haiti and had lived in Petworth for almost three decades with his second wife and a stepson, neighbors said. He was a retired handyman, skilled in plumbing, carpentry and concrete.

"He loved carpentry," said Richard Simms, a neighbor of 25 years. "He always had the measuring tape right back here [on his belt]. Most every night, we'd be sitting up on the porch."

Mr. Simms said he believes that Mr. Charlot went so far across the city to the store because it is near his daughter's house and he had planned to visit her.

Crossing guard Ethel Curenton, 57, used to greet Mr. Charlot on her way to Clark Elementary School every day. Yesterday she said the shooting made people jittery.

"Last night there was hardly anyone out," she said. "People are afraid. They say it is going to be safe, but we don't know."

Meanwhile, family and friends of the five shooting victims in Montgomery County continued to mourn their sisters, fathers, daughters and mothers.

"She was a very jubilant person," said Rena, who identified herself as shooting victim Sarah Ramos' niece and declined to give her last name. "We are all very sad."

That sentiment prevailed around the region as people gathered to lay flowers for the five Montgomery County victims of the carnage Wednesday and Thursday.

They were: James Martin, 55, who was killed Wednesday outside a Shoppers Food Warehouse in Wheaton; James Buchanan, 39, of Blacksburg, Va., who was mowing the lawn outside a car dealership in Rockville; Sarah Ramos, 34, who was sitting on a bench outside a post office in the Leisure World retirement community in Silver Spring; Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, who was vacuuming her minivan at a Shell station in Kensington; and Premkumar Walekar, 54, who was shot near his cab at a Mobil station in Aspen Hill.

The second-story apartment where Mrs. Ramos lived with her family was filled yesterday with well-wishers. Those who knew Mrs. Ramos described her as a loving person who dedicated her life to her family. She was married and had a 5-year-old son.

A family friend who asked not to be identified said Mrs. Ramos was reserved but friendly and caring toward those whom she cared about.

"She was a very nice and respectable person," the friend said. "You look at her young child and wonder about him not having a mother. This was so senseless and mindless, and its so hard when you know the individuals. I am just very confused."

The front yard outside Mr. Martin's home on Centergate Road was filled with cars. An "I love America" sign stands by the front step and American flag is on the mailbox. These items stemmed from his love of American history, particularly the Civil War, friends said.

Mr. Martin was fatally shot Wednesday night outside the Shoppers Food Warehouse in the Glenmont Shopping Center in Silver Spring after he had gone there to buy groceries for his church and a mentoring program for students in the District.

"Mr. Martin was an unassuming man," Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan said, reading a statement from the victim's family. "He enjoyed the simple pleasures in life: his church, his co-workers, his neighbors, his friends."

Mr. Martin, who is survived by his wife, sister and 11-year-old son, was a program analyst for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. He was working on book about his wife's Civil War-era ancestors, as well as a book about his childhood in southeast Missouri.

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