What probably started as a prank during a sorority ceremony at Western Maryland College has left one student injured and two others charged with crimes, police and college officials say.
As nearly 30 members of Alpha Nu Omega sorority celebrated the engagement of a fellow member outside the Blanche Ward dormitory Tuesday night, someone began shooting what appeared to be a BB gun from a second-floor window, Westminster police said.
One of the pellets struck sorority member Heather Lee, 19, on the nose. She was given several stitches at Carroll County General Hospital, and, Westminster police Lt. Randy Barnes said, she may need plastic surgery.
Campus security guards determined that the shots came from a room belonging to a 19-year-old student. In the room, police said they found a small amount of marijuana and a brass smoking pipe. They also found two pellet pistols.
Richard E. Estses Jr., 19, of Baltimore was arrested by Westminster Sgt. Steve L. Shatzer and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released without having to post bail.
On Thursday, police charged Joseph F. Flemming, 20, of Lafayette Hill, Pa., with reckless endangerment and assault with intent to maim. He had not been served with the charges as of yesterday.
"It appeared that at least one of them was playing with the pistols, and pointed it outside," Lieutenant Barnes said. "The shots were fired through the screen."
Both young men have been asked to leave campus housing until they can have hearings before the campus Honor and Conduct Board, said Western Maryland spokeswoman Joyce Muller.
They have not been barred from classes, Ms. Muller said.
The Honor and Conduct Board, made up of students and faculty members, will recommend what -- if any -- sanctions will be imposed. Punishment can be as severe as expulsion.
Possession of drugs on campus -- as well as weapons -- is a violation of Western Maryland College rules, Ms. Muller said.