Two are wounded as 3 men open fire amid crowded party

July 06, 1992|By Richard Irwin and Joe Nawrozki | Richard Irwin and Joe Nawrozki,Staff Writers

Two people were shot early yesterday when three gunmen barged into a crowded party hall in Towson and opened fire, sending holiday celebrants running for cover and into the streets.

Baltimore County police said they are looking for the three men armed with semiautomatic handguns who fired at a large crowd on the dance floor at the Independent Order of Odd Fellows hall in the 500 block of York Road in Towson.

The victims were Barry Wonder, 36, of Worcester, Mass., and Miriam Robinson, 35, of the 5700 block of Alhambra Ave., Baltimore. Mr. Wonder was shot in the upper left arm and Ms. Robinson in the right foot. Both were treated at St. Joseph Hospital and released.

Donovan Halsoll, organizer of the event who rented the hall, said today the shooting "happened so fast."

"There was no fight, nothing," Mr. Halsoll said. "When they started shooting, it was a panic situation because everybody ran for the outside."

Mr. Halsoll said he had no idea what prompted the violence at the Fourth of July weekend party. Police said they also knew of no motive.

Sgt. Stephen Doarnberger, a police spokesman, said investigators recovered spent shells from three semiautomatic weapons -- a .380 caliber, a .45 caliber and a .9mm.

Police said at least 300 people were attending a dance at the hall when the gunmen opened fire about 5 a.m.

Police said that at least 15 rounds were fired. The gunmen escaped in the confusion.

"It was pure panic," said a policeman.

Within minutes, nearly every available police officer from the Towson District responded.

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