Gunshots ring out at city playground


Shots rang out near a Noland Village playground Thursday afternoon, injuring one man and sending children scrambling for safety, according to Hagerstown City Police.

cont. from front page

Witnesses told police a black van or sport utility vehicle drove down Linwood Road near Noland Drive around 4:30 p.m. and stopped in front of a playground where about 15 children were playing.

Conflicting reports from witnesses indicated that either the driver or a front seat passenger fired several shots at two men standing on the sidewalk in front of the playground, police said. Some witnesses told police a man got out of the vehicle and fired the shots.

The vehicle then sped off on Linwood Road, police said.

The two men who were targeted ran from Linwood Road onto Noland Drive, police said.

The name of the shooting victim, who was being treated for a gunshot wound to his leg, was not released Thursday evening, police said. They said the injury was not life-threatening.


Police would not say whether the man who had been shot was one of the intended victims.

Police said they were questioning a man and a woman late Thursday.

When police arrived at Noland Village it wasn't clear to them at first whether anyone had been hit, officers said.

Patrol cars blocked off Linwood Road and Noland Drive and sealed off the playground while officers investigated.

With rain starting to fall, officers canvassed the neighborhood, talking to pedestrians and residents. Children who had been playing on the playground and on nearby streets also were interviewed.

Children milled about, watching police conduct their investigation and asking what was happening.

One Noland Village resident said that most days she sends her children to the playground to play before dinner.

"You send them there and think that they'll be safe," she said.

She said her 11-year-old daughter was sitting on a swing with a friend when she heard the shots.

"We were sitting there making up poems," the youngster said.

The sixth-grader said that when she heard the shots she screamed and ran behind a shed to hide. Her friend's foot caught on the swing and she ducked because she couldn't get away as quickly.

"I heard wheels squeal and the car drove away," the youngster said, adding that she ran home as fast as she could.

The woman said she moved to Hagerstown from Washington, D.C., to escape such violence. She said it is frightening to live in an area where shootings and stabbings take place.

The woman, who has lived at Noland Village for two years, said an increase in the number of security guards might make the Noland Village area safer.

Several children gathered outside a Noland Village parking lot said it would be a long time before they felt safe going to their community's playground.

Marie Wampler was at her Linwood Road home watching television when she heard a noise.

"I heard the shots and thought it was firecrackers. There's always noise here," she said.

A 14-year-old girl who was on the playground with friends said she heard three or four shots.

"It was scary," she said.

It was not clear Wednesday evening how the shooting victim got to the hospital.

Alan Matheny, spokesman for the Volunteer Fire Company of Halfway, said that an ambulance was dispatched and waited about a block away while police secured the crime scene.

He said police were unable to find a victim and the ambulance was sent back to the station.

The Herald-Mail Articles