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Ernest Wilson III, an outgoing Baltimore warehouse worker, didn’t like going to bars or clubs.
Instead, the 24-year-old aspiring entrepreneur preferred staying in, sipping Hennessy, and throwing his own house parties, his friends said. He was notorious for refashioning classic board games — from Monopoly to Uno — into drinking games, which he often live streamed.
Last weekend, Wilson hosted a game of “drunk” hide and seek with roughly a dozen friends at a Baltimore Airbnb. At 2:32 a.m. Saturday he went live. Wilson captioned the post, “Bouta play hide and seek.”
Wilson’s pals can be seen, dancing, drinking, and waving at the camera as he begins narrating the live stream, which Oxygen.com reviewed. Music blasts in the background. The grinning 24-year-old then warns everyone to take cover and begins counting up to 30.
“I’m tired of f--king counting,” he told the camera. “Ready or not here I come.”
Minutes later, however, gunfire erupted at the party, killing Wilson — who may have captured his suspected murderer on camera crawling over the fence of the gated property.
As he scanned the property for his hidden friends, Wilson turns his camera on a shadowy figure slinking into the yard.
“Who the f--k? Dumb ass ... this can’t be one of my friends,” Wilson says in disbelief, as he films a figure hoisting themselves over the fence.
Seconds later, Wilson appears to drop the phone. He begins screaming, the frame goes out of focus, and the video abruptly ends. When authorities responded to the scene, they found Wilson shot dead. No arrests have been made following his killing.
“Homicide detectives are following up on all tips and leads in reference to this case,” Chakia Fennoy, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department, told Oxygen.com on Tuesday. “At this time we have no further updates or information to provide.”
An autopsy and cause of death also appear to be pending, but Bruce Goldfarb, executive assistant to Maryland’s Chief Medical Examiner, declined to discuss the case with Oxygen.com.
On Friday night, hours before his death, Wilson livestreamed a video on Facebook stating the party — which reportedly included a $5 cover fee — was invite-only, raising questions about whether this was a targeted attack or a random crime.
“[I]f you wanna know where [the party] is, inbox me, I’m not putting the location in public,” Wilson stated. “It’s a private event.”
Friend Deem Monroe, 24, described Wilson as as a vivacious “funny, loving person,” with a big smile, who enjoyed goofing around.
“Once you were his close friend, he would do anything for you,” Monroe said. “He was that type of person.”
Wilson was a fixture on social media, other friends also said.
“[C]heck his page and see he ain’t going live talking s--t is killing me,” Elexea Dominique, Wilson’s ex-girlfriend, posted on Facebook. “I loved him so much.”
Local community leaders said the shooting has put Baltimore on edge amidst the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.
“The incident has caused increased anxiety in the community as a result of COVID-19,” Councilman Eric Costello told Oxygen.com. “Any level of violence is unacceptable. This tragic incident has resulted in a young man losing his life, and his family and friends never being able to see him again.”
As the country tries to clamp down on the rapidly spreading contagion, the city councilman — citing Maryland’s lockdown advisory — said the game’s night gathering appeared to be “a clear violation” of the statewide stay-at-home order.
Costello also confirmed Wilson was shot during a botched robbery at a “short term rental” in a statement on Saturday.
“We have some of the best detectives in the nation and I am hopeful they will clear this case soon,” he added.
Editor's note: In her initial interview with Oxygen.com, Deem Monroe represented herself as being present at the scene when the shooting occurred. After a subsequent interview, she said she'd left the party before Wilson was attacked and killed. The story has been updated to remove any misleading quotes and references.
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