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Man faces murder charge in downtown shooting case

August 01, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - A 27-year-old Hagerstown man accused of killing a young mother said he missed the person he was trying to shoot, according to a witness cited in a charging document.

Demetrius "Meach" Pierr McDaniels, of 1052 D Noland Drive, was charged Monday night with murder in the death of Trisiviah Rodriguez, 20, of 56 E. Antietam St. in Hagerstown, who was hit by a bullet in the first block of East Franklin Street early Monday.

McDaniels could face the death penalty if he is convicted, Washington County District Court Commissioner Cheryl Titus told him.

He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, attempted robbery and other crimes, including weapons possession. McDaniels, who was ordered held without bond, will appear for a bail review today.

The two counts of first-degree murder reflect that McDaniels is accused of committing murder in the commission of other crimes, Titus said.

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According to a charging document, a man told police two black males carrying guns, including one later alleged to be McDaniels, approached him on the first block of East Franklin Street and demanded he empty his pockets. When they let him go, the man said he heard shooting, and he ducked behind a car.

Rodriguez was found dead, lying on her stomach near the spot, the charging document states.

"I missed, yo, I missed whoever I was aiming for, I missed. I shot somebody, I really don't care who I was aiming for, I missed," one witness said she heard McDaniels say.

A few people, most appearing in their teens and early 20s, lingered as they walked past a spot near 65 E. Franklin St. where a teddy bear was tied to a tree with a white shoelace.

A note left by the bear above a pot of silk poinsettias said, "In loving memory of 'Tee.' We love you! Love KayKay + Gabi."

Gabi VanDyke, 18, who briefly lived with Rodriguez, said the victim was a funny and outgoing woman. She leaves behind a baby girl, she said.

"She just wanted to be around people, that's what I noticed. She wanted to be around people to talk to and laugh with. She always wanted to be around her daughter," VanDyke said.

Rodriguez planned to start school soon to be a medical assistant, said VanDyke, who sat on a porch a few houses away from the memorial.

McDaniels, who appeared in District Court in shackles around the waist of his white jumpsuit, was calm and quiet as Titus processed his charges. He told her he moved from New York City about three months ago. He has never had a job, he said.

He lived with a friend in Noland Village, and he was on parole from prison in New York, where he spent time on an attempted robbery charge.

According to VanDyke, Rodriguez likely was not involved in any altercation that might have led to the shooting.

"It didn't have nothing to do with her. She was just in the wrong spot when the bullets started flying," VanDyke said.

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