Gambrills man shoots ex-girlfriend, then kills himself Woman critically hurt in attack at restaurant

August 29, 1996|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

A Gambrills man who walked away from an argument with his former girlfriend yesterday returned to shoot the woman in the head and then fatally shot himself at the Route 3 fast-food restaurant where she worked.

Torrone Queen, 23, of the 1000 block of Route 3 North died in the emergency room of North Arundel Hospital shortly after he shot himself in the head.

Samantha Whitmire, 21, of no fixed address, was in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center last night.

County police, who were summoned to the Taco Bell restaurant in the 1000 block of Route 3 North about 11: 30 a.m., found the man and the woman -- a Taco Bell cashier -- lying in the parking lot with gunshot wounds.

Witnesses told police the couple argued at the restaurant earlier and the man left. He returned a short time later with a .25-caliber handgun and shot Whitmire and then shot himself, police said.

A Taco Bell representative, who asked not to be named, said it is unclear whether Whitmire was outside on a break at the time of the shooting or the man lured her outside. He said Whitmire had XTC been an employee since 1993 and had many friends at the restaurant.

"She was a very pleasant girl and a good employee," the man said. "Our sympathies go out to Samantha and her family. Our hearts and prayers go out to her, and hopefully she'll be able to make a recovery."

Whitmire's family could not be reached.

Ethel Queen, Queen's grandmother, said he and Whitmire had been going out for two or three years. Police listed Torrone Queen's address as the same as his grandmother, across the street from the Taco Bell. But Queen said the couple had lived together until recently in a Glen Burnie apartment.

She described them both as quiet people.

"They seemed like they were in love until whatever happened, happened," Queen said. "We never saw nothing like this coming."

She said Whitmire moved out of the apartment about a week ago, but said she and other family members did not know why. Torrone Queen, a crew manager at Mama Ilardo's pizza in the Crofton Metro grocery, rarely discussed his personal life, Queen said.

She said he came to her house yesterday morning to help her hang curtains.

"All he said was 'I'll be back, grandma,' " Queen said. "Those were his last words to me."

Tom Vicino, manager at the Metro grocery where Torrone Queen worked, said co-workers were shocked.

"He didn't have a violent bone in his body," Vicino said.

"Everybody's totally shocked. There are people who you think something's going to happen to [them], but this is last thing you would have thought this guy would have been involved in."

Pub Date: 8/29/96

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