Injured man fears return of gunman

January 06, 1995|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

A 45-year-old Woodlawn man wounded in a shooting that killed an Ellicott City woman says he lives in fear that the gunman may return to end his life.

Howard County police say they believe Daniel Scott Harney, charged with killing Shirley Scott Harney at her home Dec. 26, was traveling in Florida with his two sons, ages 8 and 10, late last week.

"He [Mr. Harney] is still out there," the man said. "Police are not sure of his mental condition or his motives. He clearly was trying to kill me, too. I'll be relieved when he's caught."

The Sun is withholding the name of the wounded man while the gunman is at large. Police also have taken care to shield his identity: While he was being treated over three days for a gunshot wound, the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore listed him under an alias.

Mr. Harney, last seen in Maryland driving a grayish Toyota Camry with Maryland tags VEJ169, will be featured on Fox TV's "America's Most Wanted" show at 9 p.m. tomorrow.

Howard police would give no details on Mr. Harney's whereabouts beyond saying they had information he was in Florida late last week.

The wounded man wouldn't say much about his relationship with Mrs. Harney, whom he had been dating since they met roller-skating about a month ago. He called his Christmas with Mrs. Harney -- the day before the shooting -- "quiet but pleasant."

Police said that Mr. Harney picked up his sons between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 26. The plan, the man said, was for Paul and Ryan to stay with their father for about four days, then to travel to McLean, Va., to spend New Year's Eve with Mr. Harney's parents.

About 9:30 p.m. that night, someone broke a rear basement window at Mrs. Harney's home, entered and headed upstairs to a second-floor bedroom, where he confronted Mrs. Harney and her friend with a handgun, police said.

"It took me off guard," the man said.

After a brief struggle between the gunman and the pair, the gunman shot Mrs. Harney several times and the man once in the right elbow.

"America's Most Wanted" will show the latest information from police -- that Mrs. Harney, after she was shot, was dragged outside to the end of her driveway and run over by a car leaving the driveway, said Philip Lerman, managing editor of the show.

"We have a lot of good information and photos," said Mr. Lerman. "Hopefully we'll be able to come up with something Saturday night."

He hopes the show will generate tips from viewers. Of the 852 fugitives profiled on the show, 553, or about 65 percent, have been captured.

"Being on the run with a fugitive is a dangerous life for two young boys," Mr. Lerman said.

The Woodlawn man says the events of that night haunt him.

"There're a thousand what-ifs that run through your mind," he said. "What if we'd done this or what if we wouldn't have done that. It's hard to deal with."

In the meantime, he said, he's working on rehabilitating his right arm at a therapy center in Baltimore.

"I'm trying to get back to normal," said the man, who checked out of the hospital Dec. 28 and returned to his job as a financial manager in the Baltimore area. "It's still emotionally hard. In the hospital it was hard to believe something like this is happening to you."

The Woodlawn man said that Mrs. Harney "didn't seem to hold a significant ill will to her husband. She just wanted a divorce. She wasn't vindictive. She just wanted it to be over. He just couldn't figure that out."

Mr. Harney "screwed up her life and the kids'," the man said. "He screwed up my life, too."

Neighbors say the Harneys rarely spoke with other residents, but one neighbor said they were occasionally overheard arguing. Mr. Harney, a financial administrator at Westinghouse Corp., had completed 3 1/2 years at the University of Baltimore Law School, where he was scheduled to graduate this spring.

"He was a fairly bright student," said Steven Davison, who taught Mr. Harney criminal law. "This case is surprising."

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