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N.Y man faces charges in shooting

December 05, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

A 22-year-old New York man was returned to Hagerstown Wednesday, the third man charged with attempted first-degree murder in an April 13 shooting on Lanvale Street.

Vance Bernard McNiel, of 108 Mill St., Brooklyn, N.Y., had been held in Connecticut since mid November when he was picked up on Hagerstown City Police warrants, according to Sgt. Mark Holtzman.

Thursday McNiel appeared before a Washington County District Court judge and learned that bond would be denied in his case.

In addition to attempted first-degree murder, McNiel is also charged with attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two handgun violations, court records said.

Four days after the shooting, police took a man into custody who called himself Lawrence Jeffries, 19, also of Brooklyn, N.Y., Holtzman said.

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But a subsequent fingerprint check revealed that the man was actually William Vasquez, 28, of Brooklyn, N.Y. He is awaiting trial.

Warrants for a third New York man are still outstanding, police said.

Ronnie Walker, 24, of 752 Henry St., Apt. 2-B, Brooklyn, N.Y., is at large, charged with the same offenses, according to Detective George Knight.

Hagerstown City Police responded to a call of shots fired April 13 at 4:27 p.m. and found Michael Williams lying on the sidewalk in the 900 block of Lanvale Street.

He had been shot in the right thigh and lower leg and required treatment at Washington County Hospital.

That shooting sparked an investigation that led to the recovery of five 9mm shell casings in front of 910 Lanvale St.

The evidence told police there was more than one shooter.

A witness told police of three people standing on a porch at 907 Lanvale just before the shooting - men with street names of "Boo," "Monster" and "Bishop."

The witness told police that "Bishop," the street name of Walker, left the porch, displayed a handgun and began shooting across the street, hitting Williams twice in the leg, police said.

Information shared by police in New York helped local police identify "Monster" as McNiel, court records said. Warrants issued for his apprehension led to him being picked up in Connecticut in November, Holtzman said.

"Boo" is the street name used by Vasquez, police said.

Because there was no school on April 13 and the weather was warm, several children were outside playing and riding their bicycles in the neighborhood when the shots were fired, concerned neighbors told police.

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

Residents said police raided four homes in the area earlier in April looking for drugs.

In July 1997, the body of a Brooklyn, N.Y., man was found at 903 Lanvale St.

That victim 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.

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