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Woman shot to death

Mary Elizabeth Williams was shot outside her Maugansville home Tuesday morning

Mary Elizabeth Williams was shot outside her Maugansville home Tuesday morning

February 09, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - A suspect in a Tuesday morning fatal shooting was taken into custody at his Chambersburg, Pa., workplace nearly three hours after Mary Elizabeth Williams was shot through a car window outside her Maugansville home.

Ricky Rinaldo Stallings Jr., 23, of 966 Main Ave., in Hagerstown, was taken into custody in Pennsylvania after being served with temporary felony warrants at Chambersburg Pipe and Steel Supply Co., at 1970 Frank Road, at 11:15 a.m., Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Bradley Ford said.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Capt. Doug Mullendore said Stallings is the cousin of Williams' estranged husband, L. Richard Williams.

He said he did not know what motivated the shooting.

At about 8 a.m., First Data co-worker Christopher Hobart was picking up Mary Elizabeth Williams, 34, at her 13915 Maugansville Road home - on the Alpine Drive side of her house - when shots were fired into the green Chevrolet Lumina that Hobart was driving.

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Mullendore alleged that the assailant "was in his vehicle, pulled up beside her, motioned for her to get out and when the (Lumina) moved, he opened fire."

He said Williams was shot once in her upper torso, but Hobart escaped injury.

Several windows of the Lumina, including the windshield, were shattered or damaged in the hail of fire.

Sheriff's department Sgt. Mark Knight would not provide information about the weapon used in the attack.

With a wounded passenger in his Lumina, Hobart, 39, of Falling Waters, W.Va., drove to the Washington County Sheriff's Department's patrol division, Mullendore said.

"We don't know whether the guy was following (Hobart) or chasing him so I guess he felt safe coming here," Knight said.

A deputy was outside when the Lumina pulled into the patrol division lot Tuesday morning, at a time when deputies were in a morning meeting, Mullendore said.

At about 8:30 a.m., the car, its passenger side door flung open, was still at an angle facing the patrol division's entrance. A soiled garment could be seen beneath the car on the passenger side.

Mullendore said Williams was not conscious when the car arrived at headquarters. Information about the suspect was acquired from Hobart, he said.

Washington County Detention Center nurses worked on Williams in the parking lot until a Halfway ambulance arrived, but Mullendore said she later died at Washington County Hospital.

According to court records, Williams had two children, a 6-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy, and had filed for divorce. Mullendore said Tuesday afternoon that the children were with their grandparents.

Both Williams and her estranged husband worked at First Data, according to court documents.

According to her voicemail message, Williams worked in the data center network processing group.

Jim Green, who is based in Melville, N.Y., but is spokesperson for First Data Corp. in Hagerstown, said, "This is a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Williams family."

Green said the company was "concerned about the impact that this will have on our employees and we're providing grief counseling services."

A reporter who went to First Data in Hagerstown on Tuesday afternoon was kicked off the premises.

Maugansville Elementary School was placed on a modified lockdown at about 8:39 a.m., according to Washington County Public Schools public information officer Carol Mowen. Mullendore said he called for the modified lockdown, which kept children from going outside at recess, as a precautionary measure.

The sheriff's department issued temporary felony warrants for Stallings following the shooting. Mullendore said the investigation was ongoing. He said as of Tuesday afternoon, Williams' estranged husband was not a suspect.

Police were looking Tuesday morning for a dark purple or black late 1980s-style Chevrolet Blazer, possibly an S-10, that they believed the gunman was driving during the attack.

Ford said Stallings' vehicle was impounded by police.

Yellow police tape extended from a post in front of Williams' home across Alpine Drive. Another line of police tape extended parallel to Alpine Drive from the rear of her home.

Investigator Chris Weaver and other deputies examined shattered glass on Alpine Drive, to the side of Williams' house, and walked around the grounds of the home.

Stallings was arraigned before District Justice Richard Alloway in Pleasant Hall, Pa., on a fugitive warrant from the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Alloway said he set bail at $500,000.

Alloway said Stallings has a criminal record and "he indicated to me he just got out of prison in September."

Mullendore said an extradition hearing for Stallings likely would be held this afternoon.

Staff writers Don Aines and Wanda Williams contributed to this story.

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