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Man faces murder charge after shooting

January 15, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Hagerstown man faces a murder charge after a shooting outside a Martinsburg night club early Saturday, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

The 3:14 a.m. shooting at Club Zero, at 1774 Winchester Ave., was followed by a police chase that ended after the suspects’ vehicle crashed on U.S. 40 near Clear Spring, police said.

Damon McCarroll Scott was shot in the chest, police said.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department obtained a warrant for murder against Brock Jerome Smith, who was being held Saturday by Maryland State Police, the release said. Court records list Smith as 21 years old and his address as 623 George St. in Hagerstown.

Warrants for accessory after the fact of murder were obtained against Octoviol Zshemek Taft and Dionnday Mynetriel Anderson, the release said. Both are 20 years old and from Hagerstown, according to a Maryland State Police press release that spelled Taft’s first name “Octaviol.”

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department news release said Scott was seen shooting a firearm into a tan Chrysler 300 with multiple occupants, and the occupants in the vehicle then exchanged gunfire, striking Scott in the chest.

Cpl. W. Christian was nearby, and when he confronted the shooters, the vehicle sped off and Scott attempted to flee on foot, police said.

“Upon securing Mr. Scott, Cpl. Christian noticed he was not breathing,” the press release said.

Police discovered his gunshot wound and began to administer CPR until emergency medical services personnel arrived, the release said.

Meanwhile, West Virginia State Police troopers found the Chrysler 300 near the club and attempted to stop it, but the vehicle fled from the troopers, traveling north on Interstate 81, the release said.

Troopers from the Hagerstown Barrack and deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit after the suspects crossed into Maryland, police said.

The chase continued onto U.S. 11, then onto U.S. 40 toward Clear Spring, police said.

As they approached Clear Spring, troopers lost sight of the vehicle, but continued to search the area, Maryland State Police said in a news release.

Minutes later, the 2005 Chrysler 300 was found off the roadway in a wooded area on U.S. 40 near Baker’s Lane, west of Clear Spring, where it had crashed, police said.

Smith fled on foot, but was apprehended quickly, the Berkeley County press release said.

Anderson, the back-seat passenger, was ejected from the vehicle during the wreck. He and Taft, the driver, were arrested without incident, police said.

Taft was charged in Maryland with fleeing and eluding, driving under the influence, and speeding, for driving 120 mph in a 50 mph zone, Maryland State Police said.

A Maryland State Police helicopter arrived to help with an aerial search as police on the ground continued to search the area to ensure there were no other suspects, but no one else was found, Maryland State Police said.

Anderson and Smith were taken to Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown for treatment of injuries received in the crash, and Taft was taken to the Hagerstown Barrack for processing, police said.

Investigators obtained a statement that it was Smith who shot Scott after a fight in the parking lot of Club Zero, the Berkeley County release said.

Information also was obtained that Taft and Anderson were aware the police were attempting to stop them and continued to flee, the release said.

The three were arraigned as fugitives and were awaiting extradition to West Virginia Saturday night, the release said.

Investigators from the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit were assisting troopers and investigators from the Hagerstown Barrack and deputies from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, police said.

No troopers or deputies were injured during the incident and no police vehicles were damaged, police said.

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