2 men shot, wounded in Hagerstown

April 18, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Two men were shot and wounded in the first block of West North Street in Hagerstown early Sunday morning, but Hagerstown City Police were not giving out details of the crimes or their investigative efforts.

[cont. from front page]

Some residents of the Jonathan Street area said they are concerned about violence in the area.

"We don't like it. It happens too frequently," said Elfred McCoy, pastor of the Calvary Temple Apostolic Church. The church is at the intersection of Jonathan and North streets.

"We are in the middle of the heat, in the heat of the battle," McCoy said. "Like Vietnam."

Hagerstown City Police put out a news release Sunday morning which did not include the names of the victims or their conditions. Saying it was an ongoing investigation, officers throughout the day refused to give out additional information or allow access to incident reports.

Police Chief Dale Jones did not return pager messages.


The shooting victims, one shot in his right leg and the other in the shoulder, arrived at Washington County Hospital at about 2:20 a.m. and 3:15 a.m., said the release written by Sgt. Mark E. Renner. A hospital spokesman said he could not give out information on the patients without their names, which were unavailable.

Both victims said they were shot by an "unknown black male" while walking in the first block of North Street, Renner said. The release did not say if the shootings were related, and officers would not divulge that information.

One victim said he was shot in the leg after he had a verbal altercation with a man in a club on Jonathan Street, according to the release.

Residents standing near the block where the shootings occurred said Sunday night they had not heard anything about the crimes.

Asked if people in the area are scared, Steve Higgins, 31, said, "People here are afraid without the shootings."

Personally, he is not scared, he added.

Tyrone Armstrong, 19, said he isn't worried either. "I ain't got no enemies," he said.

The shootings happened inside the city's so-called HotSpot, a roughly rectangular area stretching from Prospect Avenue to Memorial Boulevard and bounded to the east and west by Prospect Street and Mulberry Avenue.

In February 1998 the Hagerstown City Police Department formed the Street Crime Unit to address increasing violence and drug activity in the HotSpot.

There were five shootings in the Jonathan Street area in 1998 and at least three in 1997.

Violence has continued this year.

On Jan. 12, a gunman fired several shots at a car near the 400 block of Park Place at 3:55 p.m. No one was hit by the bullets, but an unoccupied car parked nearby was damaged.

Police charged Durrell M. Blackmond, 27, of 115 W. Church St., with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

On Jan. 30, a Burtonsville, Md., man was chased down and stabbed twice following a dispute at JR's Cafe, 355 Jonathan St. Before the stabbing, shots were fired inside the restaurant.

The Herald-Mail Articles