Pa. man killed in city

March 15, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

A stuffed animal marked the place in a courtyard of Washington Gardens in Hagerstown where a Waynesboro, Pa., man was fatally shot early Sunday.

An apartment widow was punctured by a stray bullet in the shooting.

The Hagerstown Police Department issued an arrest warrant Sunday for Azaniah Blankumsee, 25, whose address is unknown, in connection with the shooting of Jonathan M. Dennis, 19, of Cleveland Avenue in Waynesboro. Police allege Blankumsee, also known as "Azzy," shot five times at a group of people Dennis was walking with from about 50 to 75 feet away.

Dennis, who was hit once in the left side of his chest, died at the scene, police said.

Blankumsee is charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon, use of a handgun in commission of a felony/crime of violence, possession of a handgun by convicted felon and illegal possession of a regulated firearm, police said.


Police said Blankumsee was at large late Sunday night.

Blankumsee was described as black, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 130 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, police said.

Police said Blankumsee should be considered armed and dangerous.

Dennis and a group of people left 958 C Security Road at approximately 12:40 a.m. Sunday, saw three men and were greeted by five gunshots, police said. The three men were involved in an incident with people inside the apartment at 10:33 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Police said Blankumsee tried to start fights with residents and brandished a handgun during that incident before leaving.

Hagerstown Lt. Richard Johnson said officers who investigated the initial incident believed it was resolved.

"As far as I understand, when they first arrived, the three causing the problems had already left the area," Johnson said.

Johnson said investigators were trying to establish a motive for the homicide, the first in the city since the Dec. 14, 2002, shooting death of Carl Anthony Wallace on Jonathan Street.

"I'm not sure what precipitated this taking place once these people left the apartment and were outside," Johnson said.

Residents from the apartment in question spent part of Sunday afternoon carrying white trash bags filled with clothing and other belongings to a car.

"I'm moving the stuff I can move now because I don't want my daughter here," said Gena Snyder of Waynesboro, a family member of the victim and mother of the woman who lived there.

Snyder said Dennis was a "nice, quiet kid," not a troublemaker. Police said Dennis was not in the building during the first altercation Saturday evening.

"He had just put in an application for college - and he got killed over something stupid," Snyder said.

Other residents from the complex gathered nearby to offer condolences to family members and talk about the incident.

Debra Campher, a Potomac Street resident whose daughter and granddaughters live in the building struck by one of the bullets, said she still was upset late Sunday afternoon. There was a single bullet hole in the window of a front room at the residence where her daughter and grandchildren live.

"My grandkids were in there sleeping where the bullet came in the window," Campher said. "The bullet came two feet away from my son."

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