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West End shooting leaves man wounded in leg

April 14, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

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West end shooting

Hagerstown City Police on Monday night were canvassing the area of Lanvale and Ross streets for witnesses to a shooting in which a man was wounded earlier in the day.

Police would not identify the wounded man. They said he had been shot in the leg and that his injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

The man was listed in fair condition at Washington County Hospital Monday night, hospital spokesman John Costopoulos said.

The shooting occurred at about 4:27 p.m. in the 900 block of Lanvale Street in a public housing complex.

Police responding to a call of shots fired found the man lying on the sidewalk.

The man who was shot is well known in the neighborhood, according to some residents.

Several residents of the housing complex said they heard between eight and 10 gunshots fired in succession from a bilevel brick and siding duplex at 905 and 907 Lanvale St.

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Police found three shell casings in front of the duplex and another across the street near the curb.

Witnesses said the man who was shot ran from 907 Lanvale St. and up the street before falling to the ground.

Onlookers watched from behind yellow police tape that cordoned off a large portion of the street from the 905-907 duplex to a duplex across the street, around a trail of blood, and up to the spot where the wounded man was lying.

ShootingPolice searched the home at 908 Lanvale St. after witnesses apparently told them they saw someone run into the home after the shooting, said Cheryl Parson, who lives there.

Parson, who said she is seven months pregnant, said police pushed her aside and forced their way into her home and then called her a liar when she told them the coffee table in her living room was broken when a child ran into it.

Hagerstown Police Capt. Robert Voytko told a visibly angry and upset Parson that police searched her home because they had reason to believe someone was in there.

An officer from the Narcotics Task Force had left the area just before the gunfire rang out, said Joy Gilbert, who was watching her children in a nearby playground at the time.

"I just wanted to get the kids down and the doors locked," said Evonne Showe, who was sitting on the cement stoop of her home at 906 Lanvale St., across the street from the shooting scene.

Showe, her husband, Tim, and her three children moved to the West End neighborhood in December. Showe said it's the first time she's heard gunshots.

"It sounded like a whole bunch of firecrackers going off," said her son, Gordon Shafer III, 13.

Because there was no school Monday and the weather was warm, several children were outside playing and riding their bicycles in the neighborhood during the day, and Showe said it was luck that one of them wasn't shot.

"It's just upsetting. I just think it's a shame," she said.

Two houses down, at 902 Lanvale St., Sandra Hull, 15, said she was sitting on her sofa watching television when she heard about eight shots.

"I heard them and I said, 'that's gun shots.' I used to hunt, so I knew," she said.

Hull and others who live in the area said the neighborhood has deteriorated in the last few years.

"I've lived here for 15 years. The last five years is the worst I've seen it," Hull said.

Some said drug dealing in the neighborhood is typical and frequent.

Residents said police raided four homes in the area last week looking for drugs.

In July of last year, the body of a Brooklyn, N.Y., man was found at 903 Lanvale St.

The victim, Eric Williams, 31, had been shot in the head. Police said at the time the shooting may have been drug-related.

The homes on Lanvale Street are part of Westview Homes, a complex that consists of about 400 units operated by Hagerstown Housing Authority.

The complex is patrolled by housing authority security guards.

Monday afternoon's shooting was the second in Hagerstown in a week.

Last Wednesday, a 24-year-old Waynesboro, Pa. man, who was a passenger in a car traveling north on Jonathan Street, was shot in the right arm.

In that case, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Bobby Damien Coleman, also known as Bobby Evans, 20, whose last known address was Noland Drive in Hagerstown. Coleman remains at large.

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