About 20 minutes before Wilton Algernon "Al" Reed went to Fox Chevrolet and shot two former co-workers dead before killing himself on Friday, he fired a bullet through a wall of the townhouse he shared with his girlfriend, Baltimore County police said.
"He shot a hole in the bedroom wall before he went over to Fox," E. Jay Miller, police spokesman, said yesterday.
"For some reason, whether it was to test the gun, or out of anger, he fired the gun," Miller said. "We're not sure why."
The bullet passed through a wall in the couple's home in the first block of Pacton Place in Woodlawn and lodged in a mattress in a unit next door, Miller said. No one was hurt.
A police crime lab crew found the bullet hole in the wall, Miller said. The girlfriend told police that after Reed got dressed Friday, he fired one shot from a handgun through the bedroom wall then left the residence.
"It was not an attack against the girlfriend to our knowledge," Miller said.
Shortly before noon Friday, Reed, 25, walked into the service area at Fox, in the 6600 block of Security Blvd. in Woodlawn, and opened fire with a 9mm handgun, police said.
Those fatally shot were general manager William Bishop, 46, of the 2700 block of Station Road in Middletown, and Robert B. Daughton, 38, of Randallstown, a mechanic.
The man who fired Reed on Wednesday, David Laird, 35, of Lansdowne, a service manager, was wounded. He is in critical condition at the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore, a hospital spokesman said.
Stephen Doarnberger, a police spokesman, said that Reed, a mechanic at Fox for two years, had been fired two days earlier when he refused to repair a car on his own time after he failed to fix it earlier.
Police believe Reed went to the car dealership with specific victims in mind, because he didn't fire indiscriminately at other workers and customers.
"Giving his calmness. . . and that no argument precipitated it, it seems that way," Doarnberger said.
Police said Reed had bought the pistol he used in June 1989 from a firearms store in Annapolis.
"He filled out the proper applications," Doarnberger said, adding that Reed "had a clean [police] record."