Three men shot at Harpers Ferry flea market

July 27, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - A Wisconsin man has been jailed in lieu of $750,000 bond in connection with the shooting of three men who tried to hold him until police arrived Saturday night.

Patrick Carr, 53, of Minocqua, Wisc., was arraigned Sunday before Magistrate Katherine Santucci on three counts of malicious wounding in the 9:30 p.m. shooting at the Harpers Ferry Flea Market on U.S. Highway 340.

A sexual assault allegation involving Carr and a 5-year-old boy is under investigation by West Virginia State Police, police said.

"He just turned his head, opened the door and opened fire," said Ruth Deeds of Point of Rocks, Md. She said her husband, 51-year-old Barry Madison Deeds Sr., was the first person shot.


The bullet from the .32-caliber revolver went through his abdomen and out his side. He was released from Jefferson Memorial Hospital Saturday night.

More seriously injured were Danny Lerch, 34, and James E. Hoare, 36, both of Knoxville, Md. Both were in serious condition at Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., a hospital spokesman.

Lerch, the father of the boy who was allegedly molested, was shot in the chest and had a collapsed lung, according to Ruth Deeds. Hoare was the most seriously injured, suffering bullet wounds to the chest and abdomen.

"He stood over him and shot him twice at point-blank range. He tried to execute him," Deeds said in describing how Hoare was shot.

"We thought we were going to lose both of them last night. Now, we hear they're going to pull through," West Virginia State Police Sgt. Sid Sponaugle said Sunday of Lerch and Hoare.

The incident began about half an hour before the shooting started, Ruth Deeds said. Deeds, her husband and children had gone to visit her cousin Danny Lerch at the flea market, where he and another man operated vending stalls, she said.

She said there were about 14 adults and six or seven children, all friends and relatives, having an after-hours cookout at the converted drive-in theater. That's when Carr approached them, she said, in a brown sport-utility vehicle, perhaps a Jeep, with what she believed were Michigan tags.

"I want to set up. Where can I get a space?" Carr asked them, she said.

Deeds said he did not appear to be paying attention as one of the men told him where to go. He then pulled into the parking lot.

"Where's the stuff he's going to set up? His truck is empty," she recalled saying at the time.

A short time later, she noticed her two children missing and went to look for them, she said.

She encountered her two children and one of Lerch's daughters moments later. She said they told her that a man had lured the boy away to wooded area behind the flea market.

Deeds said the other children told her they had tried to get the boy to follow them, but the man allegedly told the boy he would show him a graveyard in the woods and was going to his vehicle to get a flashlight.

According to Deeds, the boy was found in the woods. He was not seriously hurt and is back with his family, she said.

The group confronted Carr as he was getting into his vehicle, she said. She said Hoare, Danny Lerch's brother-in-law, reached in through the open passenger side window and grabbed the keys.

One of the group reportedly told Carr, "You're not going anywhere until the police get here."

The police had already been called and Ruth Deeds said she heard the siren of the approaching cruiser. That's when the shooting began, she said.

Barry Deeds was hit as he tried to turn around, she said, and a second shot missed him. Then Lerch was shot, she said. Ruth Deeds said James Hoare was knocked to the ground in the melee and was trying to roll away when he was shot.

Three other men then tackled Carr, she said. Deeds believes it was Lerch's brother Brian that got the gun away from him.

"They had to fight him to get that gun away," according to Deeds.

State police said Carr received head injuries in the struggle for the gun. He was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital and was under guard until he was discharged Sunday for his arraignment.

Carr is being held in the Eastern Regional Jail. His name was run through the police NCIC computer and Sponaugle said he was not wanted anywhere else.

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