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Man shot to death

April 06, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Noland Village resident Angel Weatherholtz's joy of watching her child play outside on a warm Tuesday evening gave way to fear as a shooting a few doors down left one man dead.

Hagerstown Police Department Capt. Charles Summers, the department's acting chief, said the shooting occurred at 7:59 p.m. in Court 4 of the Noland Village housing complex.

Summers identified the shooting victim as Terrance "T.J." Johnson.

He said Johnson was shot once in the chest and was in "grave condition" when he was taken from the scene in an ambulance. Summers said at 10:15 p.m. that Johnson was pronounced dead at Washington County Hospital.

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Summers said police found the victim outside of a Noland Village apartment, bleeding from the mouth.

Emergency responders began heavy chest compressions on the man, who lay in a pool of blood.

Summers said a person police believe was involved in the shooting was taken into custody while walking on Virginia Avenue. He said a vehicle believed to be the one in which the shooter fled the scene was found about three blocks from Noland Village.

"He matched the description. He was sweating, and we had reason to believe he was part of it," Summers said.

Summers said another man believed to have been at the scene of the shooting also was taken into custody about 90 minutes after the shooting.

Lt. Michael King said no charges had been filed by 11 p.m.

Summers said that at least four people that police believed might have witnessed the shooting were taken to police headquarters on Burhans Boulevard for questioning.

Weatherholtz said she had seen Johnson minutes before the shooting for the first time in several months.

Weatherholtz said Johnson appeared to be "all happy, laughing and carrying on" as he had some drinks and played dice outside the apartment.

She said that soon afterward, it sounded like an argument began and two shots were fired.

"It was like boom ... boom. It sounded like a firecracker that just went half off," she said. "I ran and grabbed my kid (who was playing outside)."

Gwen Garvin, who has lived in Court 4 of Noland Village since September 2004, was among several residents and parents who were frightened by the incident. Garvin said her daughter wanted to play outside because it was such a nice day.

"I don't want to live here if my kids can't play outside," Garvin said. "My daughter was right there pushing her stroller, playing."

Garvin said she was even more frightened because she did not hear the shots or realize what was happening until she went out of her apartment and saw the commotion.

"That's so ignorant. ... Kids live out here, little kids," an upset Garvin said.

Monica Stickley, a Noland Village resident for about three years, said she was looking forward to moving out of the housing development soon. Although there have not been incidents of the magnitude of Tuesday's shooting in recent months, she said there have been frequent problems with violence in the past.

"People come here that don't live here and start stuff," she said.

Stickley said she wants out of the development and has "been here long enough."

Staff photographer Ric Dugan contributed to this story.

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