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Police have suspect in drive-by shooting

March 03, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

"Old-fashioned police work" led Hagerstown Police to a suspect in a Tuesday morning drive-by shooting in downtown Hagerstown, Sgt. Paul Kifer said.

Several shots were fired from a silver SUV on Boward Street at about 11 a.m., shattering the rear windshield of a minivan, Kifer said. Police do not think anyone was injured, he said.

After interviewing witnesses to the shooting and other related incidents, police located a Hagerstown man they believe to be the shooter, Kifer said. The man has not been charged in connection with Tuesday's shooting but was arrested on a warrant for an unrelated incident in Montgomery County, Md., Kifer said.

"The investigators started linking together other incidents that were going on around the same time the shooting happened, and with that information started putting some of the pieces of the puzzle together," Kifer said.

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Some property damage incidents in another part of town were linked to those involved in the shooting, Kifer said.

Kifer said police received calls about the shooting from several residents who live near the scene.

Witness reports indicate five to seven shots were fired from a handgun from the SUV as it was headed south on Boward Street behind a purple Dodge Caravan, Kifer said. There were multiple people in the SUV but only one shooter, he said.

Several of the shot casings were found on Boward Street, he said.

The Caravan was found parked near Nadia's Convenience Store in the 200 block of West Franklin Street, but was empty when police arrived.

Police have determined who was driving the Caravan, but had not found or spoken to that person by Tuesday evening, Kifer said. The driver of the Caravan apparently knew the shooter, he said. Police think there was only one person in the Caravan and do not think that person was injured, he said.

The Caravan was taken to police headquarters for forensic investigation.

Police hoped to recover the gun used in the shooting when they searched the suspect's home Tuesday evening, Kifer said. Police had obtained a warrant to conduct the search, he said.

City Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said Tuesday evening that the shooting was not a sign that violence is on the rise in Hagerstown.

"Shootings are not a good thing," Metzner said. "We have them on occasion, but it's not like a metropolitan area."

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said she felt that crime was increasing because of the stagnant economy.

She alluded to a Feb. 23 bank robbery in which two women held up a Susquehanna Bank branch.

"Things have peaked," Nigh said. "This isn't the norm. Hopefully we'll have enough police out there to handle it."

A man said he was smoking a cigarette on his porch along Boward Street when he saw the two vehicles go by, both headed south from Charles Street.

The man, who would not give his name, said he ducked into the doorway when he heard the shots, but saw that both vehicles continued moving. He said one turned left on North Avenue, while the other turned right.

The man said he has heard of shootings from time to time on Jonathan Street but was unaware of any previous shootings on Boward Street.

Staff reporter Dan Dearth contributed to this story.


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