West End shooting angers residents

April 14, 1998|By LAURA ERNDE

There were few children on the Westview Homes public housing complex playground on Tuesday, close to where shots rang out a day earlier, residents said.

The fear of violence kept many people inside on the picture perfect spring day.

That same fear prompted residents of the West End community to seek answers at an upcoming tenant association meeting.

Gunfire that erupted at 4:27 p.m. Monday in the 900 block of Lanvale Street has been the talk of the neighborhood, residents said.

Police responding to a call of shots fired found the man lying on the sidewalk. He had been wounded in the leg.

On Tuesday, Hagerstown City Police continued searching for up to three people seen running in the area of the Westview Homes complex. One of them may have been wounded, police said.


The shooting victim left Washington County Hospital on Tuesday, although he was not officially discharged, said spokesman John Costopoulos.

Police have not released the name of the shooting victim, although some residents of the Lanvale Street area said he is well known in the area.

"The playground's almost dead this evening," said Joy Gilbert, 32, whose 5- and 2-year-old children were there when the gunfire erupted.

Instead of talking about moving out of the neighborhood, Gilbert is one of several residents taking a stand in the face of the violence.

"Instead of staying at home running our mouths about it, come out and do something about it," she said.

Christine Stoots also plans to air her concerns at the meeting, set for 6 p.m. Monday at the Westview Community Building. Police and housing officials are supposed to be there.

"I just hope that positive will come out of it, but I don't know," she said.

Meanwhile, she fears for her safety.

"I've had several people look at me funny today, like they mean me harm," she said.

On Tuesday, police were trying to identify two or three men seen running in the area at the time of the shooting, one of whom may have been shot.

Police did not have detailed descriptions of the suspects, only that they are black males believed to be in their early 20s and from the New York City area.

After interviewing witnesses, police said a motive for the shooting remained unclear.

Anyone with information may call Detective Mark Holtzman or Detective George Knight at 301-739-8577, extension 234.

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