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NYC police detain man wanted in local shooting

July 10, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Police in New York City have detained a Frederick, Md., man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting last December on Jonathan Street in Hagerstown.

Karim Ali Ward, 27, of the 1700 block of Springhouse Court, could be arraigned locally on murder charges as soon as next week, police said.

Members of the New York Police Department's Anti-Crime Squad, 32nd Precinct, took Ward into custody Tuesday on a fugitive warrant.

Ward was being held in New York, awaiting extradition to Maryland on charges in Washington County. He is charged in warrants with first- and second-degree murder stemming from the Dec. 14, 2002, shooting of Carl Anthony Wallace of Asbury Park, N.J.

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New York City police approached Ward on Tuesday after they saw him acting in a suspicious manner while standing at a street corner, according to Hagerstown City Police Lt. Rick Johnson.

Johnson said Ward ran when police approached him and was caught after a brief chase.

Ward allegedly provided police with a false name, but detectives recognized him from a "wanted" poster, according to Johnson.

Johnson praised the NYPD for apprehending Ward.

"We're very elated - we've been working every day to try to find his whereabouts," he said.

"It was some really good police work. They were just out there doing what they normally do and happened upon him."

On Dec. 14, Hagerstown police received a call at 3:38 a.m. reporting shots had been fired on Jonathan Street near the intersection with Charles Street. When officers arrived, they found Wallace lying in the road.

Wallace was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

Police alleged that an altercation apparently stemmed from a street fight between Wallace's girlfriend, 22-year-old Takima Nicole White, formerly of the 400 block of North Jonathan Street, and Ward's friend, 23-year-old Asia Shanni Burns, of no fixed address. Police alleged that Ward produced a handgun during the fight, fired it several times in the air and then shot Wallace, who was watching the fight with up to a dozen other people.

Wallace had moved to Hagerstown from Asbury Park, N.J., six weeks earlier to be with White.

Hours after the shooting, police charged Ward with two counts of murder as well as first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, use of handgun in a crime of violence and carrying a handgun.

A week after the shooting, the case was featured on the Fox network television show, "America's Most Wanted." Ward's picture and description, along with information about the crime, were broadcast nationally.

Johnson said Ward's decision on legal action will determine how quickly he will be returned to Hagerstown for a formal arraignment. He said Ward likely would appear in court in one or two weeks if he waives his right to an extradition hearing in New York.

If Ward does not waive that right, Hagerstown police will have to formally request extradition through New York officials, according to Johnson.

"We're going to have to wait to see what he does," Johnson said.

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