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Gunshot victim dies

April 06, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

SHARPSBURG - A passerby found a man with a gunshot wound to the chest lying in a parking area at Antietam National Battlefield Thursday evening, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

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The man, who hadn't been identified by late Thursday, died on the way to Washington County Hospital, according to deputies.

The man may have been a tourist, deputies said. A park ranger told police he didn't recognize him as being a battlefield employee.

Deputies said they were trying to determine whether the death was a suicide or homicide.

Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Service Paramedic Shawn McCoy said a passerby found the man lying on a paved parking area off Md. 34 and drove to the Sharpsburg Area EMS building to get help.

McCoy said the man was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived at about 8 p.m. The gunshot wound was near his heart and the man also had "multiple penetrating wounds to his chest," said McCoy.

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McCoy said the man was lying on his back near a blue station wagon.

The station wagon was the only car in the parking lot, which is screened by dense trees. The car was facing toward Md. 34. A knit cap was on the ground near the car.

McCoy said he didn't see a weapon at the scene.

Deputies cordoned off the parking area and a small pavilion nearby with yellow tape and later prevented access to the area by posting patrol cars at the entrance and exit to Md. 34.

EMS personnel used the lights from a Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services vehicle to illuminate the area for investigators, who spread out and scoured the paved area and grass surrounding it for evidence.

The only description given of the man was that he was white.

The death was the second at Antietam Battlefield this year. In February, a 60-year-old Hagerstown man plunged to his death from the battlefield's observation tower. That death was ruled a suicide.

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