Brotherly Friendship Takes A Tragic, Mystifying Turn

Double Shootingfollowed An Argument

April 17, 1991|By Maria Archangelo | Maria Archangelo,Staff writer

BLACKS CORNER — By all accounts, they were good friends.

The first was older, a high school graduate with a good-paying job at United Parcel Service.

The second was a 17-year-old high school student who excelled in the machine shop at Carroll County Career and Technology Center.

Matthew Leigh Frock, 24, of the first block of Old Westminster Road inHanover, Pa., and Richard Earl Uphoff Jr., of the 5100 block of Old Hanover Road in Westminster, spent a lot of their free time together.

"Matt thought of Ricky as a brother," said Diane Frock, Matt's 34-year-old sister. "They had been friends for some time."

But theirlives and their friendship ended early Sunday when two shots were fired from a handgun taken from Frock's car, state police in Westminster reported.

State police received a call at 1:56 a.m. reporting that shots had been fired at a residence in the 3000 block of Menges Mill Road near Taneytown.

When police arrived, they found the bodiesof Frock and Uphoff lying in the driveway of a home in the Hoot 'N Hollow housing development. Both men had been shot.

Police say theybelieve an argument and a struggle took place, and Frock shot Uphoffin the driveway of a friend's home.

The two men had been visitingthe friend's home before the argument began, police said.

Frock turned the gun on himself after shooting his friend, police said.

Frock was pronounced dead at the scene by the Carroll County medical examiner, Dr. Daniel Welliver.

Uphoff, a senior at Westminster HighSchool and student at the Career and Technology Center, was taken byPleasant Valley Fire Department ambulance to the Maryland Shock Trauma Unit at University Hospital in Baltimore.

He was pronounced dead there at 10:20 a.m.

Police had not established a motive for the double shooting as of late last night.

While police investigators tried to figure out what prompted the shooting, family members, friends and school administrators groped for an explanation.

"We know that something happened, but we don't know what," said Diane Frock, who lived a quarter mile from her brother. "We didn't know of anything bad between them."

Diane said her brother and Uphoff liked to ridetheir all-terrain vehicles together.

"Matt was helping Ricky get his new truck running," she said. "We just don't understand this at all."

Her brother was a 1985 graduate of Littlestown (Pa.) Senior High School.

He was a varsity football player in his junior and senior years, a member of the Antiques and Coin Club his freshman year, and the Industrial Arts Club his sophomore year, according to a school yearbook.

Diane said her brother won several high school football awards.

Uphoff's family declined comment yesterday.

Teachers and administrators at the Career and Technology Center in Westminsterremember Uphoff, an only child, as having a lot of potential.

"Heworked very aggressively toward the goals he was asked to complete,"said William Hill, machine shop instructor at the center. "He had plans to follow machining as a career."

Hill said Uphoff's death hada strong impact on the youth's machine shop class, which meets everyday for almost three hours.

"The kids were displaying a lot of emotion," said Hill. "He will be missed. That was evident from the kids' reactions."

Administrators at the school said Uphoff never got into trouble and received an "A" for machine shop in the last marking period.

"He was very enthusiastic and easygoing," said Hill. "He always had a lot of smiles every day."

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