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City man is wounded in afternoon shooting

August 01, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

laurae@herald-mail.com

The quiet of a Hagerstown neighborhood was shattered Wednesday afternoon when a man was shot in the leg at 609 Hayes Ave., Hagerstown City Police said.

Robert Wayne Freeman, 20, of 554 Frederick St., Apt. 1, was flown by Maryland State Police medevac helicopter to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., shortly after the 1:23 p.m. shooting.

Freeman's condition was listed as fair Wednesday night, a nursing supervisor at the hospital said.

A witness told police Freeman and another man arrived at the Hayes Avenue home in a cab.

Freeman was toting a black backpack, which he placed on the porch. When he bumped the backpack, a handgun inside the bag went off, striking him in the thigh, police said in a press release.

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The other man grabbed the gun and bag and left the area, police said.

Police were still looking for the other man and the gun late Wednesday, Detective Tammy Miller said.

When the shooting occurred, people went outside their homes to see what had happened.

"I was in the house watching TV. I can't believe I didn't hear it," said Shane Crothers, 11.

The only person who reported seeing the incident was Charlie Kline, who works for the Hagerstown Housing Authority.

Kline said he was putting trash in a dump truck on Hayes Avenue when he saw a sport-utility vehicle pull up.

Two men got out and started talking to a man standing outside. One of the visitors was sitting down with a black bag beside him when the gun went off and wounded him, Kline told police.

The victim did not live in the neighborhood but has relatives who live there, Hagers-town Police Chief Arthur Smith said.

"We're still going to get to the bottom of it. Obviously it's somebody who doesn't need to be carrying a gun," Smith said.

Police spent several hours conducting interviews in the neighborhood and at police headquarters.

Before the Community Rescue Service ambulance left, Smith and a couple of other officers climbed in to speak with the victim.

Police asked that anyone with information call police at 301-790-3700 or Crime Solvers of Washington County at 301-733-4141.

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