Gunman sought in city shooting

August 30, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

A Hagerstown man remained in critical condition Friday at Washington County Hospital as police continued their investigation to find the gunman who shot him.

A Washington County Hospital spokeswoman said Tony Lamar Moorehead, 25, of the 600 block of North Prospect Street, was in critical condition at the hospital.

Officers from the Hagerstown Police Department found Moorehead lying in front of the Neighborhood Inn at 139 N. Mulberry St. at 11:18 p.m. Thursday with a bullet wound to the abdomen.


The Hagerstown Police Department dispatched more than a dozen officers to the tavern late Thursday in response to reports that shots were fired in the area and two men were wounded. Police found Moorehead on the sidewalk and George "Jamal" Smith, 30, inside the tavern with a gunshot wound to the leg, police said.

Smith was treated at the hospital and released.

The suspect is described as a 20- to 25-year-old black man, 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-6, and about 180 pounds, police said. He was last seen wearing jeans, a ball cap and a dark-colored, short-sleeved T-shirt over a white short-sleeved T-shirt, police said.

Patrons inside the tavern said the sound of gunshots disrupted an otherwise uneventful evening.

"I heard a bunch of popping noises, like five or six pops," East End resident Chris White said. "Then a guy came running into the bar and locked himself in the women's bathroom."

Just after 11:30 p.m., Moorehead was taken on a gurney to a waiting ambulance.

Police marked off at least six bullet shells on the sidewalk and looked for additional clues in an alley next to the bar.

At midnight, up to 10 police cruisers raced to East Franklin Street because an officer thought he spotted the suspect. Officer Todd Dunkle approached the man, later identified as Larry Steven Cummings, 22, of 424 N. Locust St., Apt. 8.

Cummings, who police alleged spit crack cocaine out of his mouth, was determined to be not connected to the shooting. He was charged with possession of crack cocaine and possession of paraphernalia, police said.

As police placed Cummings in a cruiser, witnesses shouted, "They got the wrong guy."

Residents said the 100 block of North Mulberry Street has been fraught with violence in recent months.

"Every day, there are problems here," Dennis Easterday said.

White said he joked earlier that such an incident might occur because of a perceived decline in the safety of the neighborhood.

"I was telling my friend, 'I'm going to stop coming in here because somebody's gonna get shot one of these days,' " White said.

Police are urging anyone with information about the shooting call 301-790-3700, extension 234.

Staff writer Julie Greene contributed to this story.

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