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Shooting victim unable to reach gun in time to defend himself

March 27, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Evans
Evans

A man who was fatally wounded by intruders at his Linwood Road home early Monday had a handgun nearby, but was unable reach it in time to defend himself, the Hagerstown police chief said Tuesday.

Chief Arthur Smith released more information on the slaying Tuesday, saying Alfarad A. Evans, 35, of 1002 Linwood Road had a .45-caliber handgun “in close proximity” when three men forced their way inside the house at about 5:30 a.m. Monday.

Two other people in the house were uninjured.

“They were targeting (Evans) in particular — that was pretty obvious,” Smith said. “This was just a flat-out murder.”

Evans was found in bed with multiple gunshot wounds, Smith said.

He was taken to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, where he died about an hour after the shooting.

Smith said an autopsy was performed Tuesday in Baltimore.

In Hagerstown Tuesday, city police continued their search for the three male intruders who were described as wearing baggy clothing. They were last seen running north toward Noland Village.

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Smith said the investigation hadn’t progressed to the point to determine whether the intruders were local.

“There’s nothing here to link (them) to Noland Village at all,” Smith said.

Evans originally was from New Jersey, but had ties to the Hagerstown area, Smith said.

In 1999, city police charged Evans with robbery and other counts after he took $100 from a man at gunpoint, then pistol whipped him near the intersection of Murph and Henry avenues. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to state prison.

While Evans was in prison, he was a member of the Black Guerrilla Family gang, Smith said. Police said they don’t believe Evans’ association with that gang was related to his death.

Officers didn’t find narcotics in the house, but Smith said, “We certainly don’t have anything to rule that out” as a motive in the crime.

Monday’s shooting marked the second fatal shooting in the city in as many months.

On Jan. 22, Christopher Lee Follett, 29, of New York City, was shot in the head during an argument on Jonathan Street. He died two days later.

Juan Sylvester Barnes, 28, of no fixed address, has been charged with second-degree murder in that case.

Follett’s murder was not premeditated, Smith said. That shooting happened after the two exchanged words on the street, he said.

Smith said he believed it was a coincidence that the fatal shootings occurred only a few months apart.

“It’s a free country. You can’t keep people from coming down here from New Jersey and New York,” Smith said.

He also noted that drug activity was a main cause for a number of recent home invasions in the city.

Despite Evans’ criminal past, a family friend said Monday that he was in the process of turning his life around.

The friend, who wished to remain anonymous for her safety, said Evans recently started a car-detailing business and mentored youth to deter them from making the same mistakes that got him in trouble.

“He was very protective,” the friend said. “He was very funny. He was always singing and dancing.”

Another friend said Evans volunteered to coach her 12-year-old son’s basketball team last summer when no one else showed interest.

“He stepped up. He showed up every Sunday and volunteered his time to make sure these kids had a coach,” the woman said, who also spoke under condition of anonymity. “He did really well. He really interacted with them.”

The woman said Evans tried to teach the children to make the right choices.

“He would say: ‘I made these mistakes in my life. Don’t make them in yours,’” the woman said.

She said Evans left behind a young son and daughter.

The house where the shooting occurred was a Habitat for Humanity house. It was built by members of 19 churches and the Hagerstown Area Religious Council.

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