18-year-old charged in shooting of man in Harper's Choice Police seek suspects in another weekend attack in same area

Victims in Shock Trauma

September 24, 1998|By Erika Niedowski and Nancy A. Youssef | Erika Niedowski and Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Howard County police have arrested an 18-year-old Columbia man in connection with the second of two shootings that occurred in Harper's Choice village in Columbia in a 24-hour period beginning early Sunday.

Robert Joseph Manning was arrested at his home in the 5400 block of Cedar Lane at 10: 30 p.m. Tuesday and charged with six felony counts -- including attempted murder -- after John Gordon Jackson, 38, was shot Monday outside the Fall River Terrace apartment complex in the 5500 block of Harpers Farm Road.

Manning was being held without bail yesterday at the Howard County Detention Center. Jackson remained in stable condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Police continued searching for two suspects in another shooting, which occurred early Sunday in the 5400 block of Harpers Farm Road, a block and a half away. In that incident, a 17-year-old boy was robbed and shot in the abdomen on the footbridge crossing Harpers Farm Road near the village center. The boy was listed in stable condition yesterday at Shock Trauma.

Manning, whose recent address was in the 5100 block of Dickey Hill Road in Baltimore, faces other criminal charges: He was arrested and charged by Howard County police July 27 with trespassing on private property; Aug. 21 with gambling at a sporting event; Sept. 4 with drug possession. He is scheduled to appear in District Court Tuesday on the trespassing charge.

In connection with Jackson's shooting, Manning faces charges of first- and second-degree attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, said Sgt. Morris Carroll, a police spokesman. If convicted of attempted murder, Manning could be sentenced to life in prison.

Police had issued an arrest warrant for another 18-year-old, Roberto Joseph Brathwaite of Ellicott City, in the shooting of Jackson. Carroll said Manning and Brathwaite, who is still wanted for questioning, fit similar descriptions and both use the street name "Black." Brathwaite's driver's license was found in a car Jackson was said to have lent to someone on the night of the shooting.

Virginia Jackson, John Jackson's 74-year-old mother, with whom lives, said yesterday her son is a retired Army veteran who receives disability payments for a head injury he suffered more than 10 years ago while stationed in Hawaii.

His last job, she said, was as a deliveryman for a KFC in Columbia, and he once worked as a security guard for the Rouse Co.

Virginia Jackson and her daughter, Cecilia Jackson, 55, who lives at the same address, said they used to feel safe in their Harper's Choice neighborhood, but they have noticed an increase in crime in the past few years.

"It's gotten kind of crazy around here," said Cecilia Jackson, who moved to Columbia about five years ago from New York City. "I think it's a lot of drugs. If I can see [the crime], the police should be able to see. It wasn't like that two years ago."

Virginia Jackson said she didn't know what her son was doing outside on the night of the shooting, but that he tapped on the window of their apartment and said, "I'm shot. Call 911."

Beverly Moals, mother of the 17-year-old shooting victim, said her son told her on the night he was shot that he was going to a party at the athletic club across the parking lot from the Harper's Choice community center, Kahler Hall. The Omega Psi Phi fraternity had rented the fitness club for a "Fitness Blowout" party Saturday night, according to a club employee, but minors were not allowed inside because alcohol was being served.

Moals said her son had been expelled from Wilde Lake High School last year for poor attendance. He had worked as a waiter at the Harmony Hall Retirement Community on Cedar Lane in Columbia for 2 1/2 months, but quit in July, his supervisor said.

She asked her son's name, which is different from her last name, not be disclosed because of concerns over his safety while police search for suspects.

"Columbia's starting to get like Baltimore," said Moals, who has lived in Columbia about a year and a half.

Pub Date: 9/24/98

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