Couple shot trying to help

Severna Park pair answered man's calls for aid

Neighbor held as suspect

Although wounded, resident manages to overcome intruder

February 09, 2000|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

An act of kindness by a Severna Park couple turned into horror early yesterday as both were shot by a stranger who came to their door looking for emergency help, county police said.

But one of the victims, Eugene Scott Heckard, 50, managed to subdue the gunman, pinning him to the floor after he and Wendy Lou Marshalick, 39, were wounded in their home in the 900 block of Old County Road.

Heckard was released after being treated and Marshalick was listed in fair condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Each had been shot once in the chest.

William Morris Creek, 22, was arrested at the scene on charges including two counts each of attempted murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Police said the couple did not know Creek, who lived around the corner in the first block of Barrensdale Drive. He was being held without bail in the county detention center in Annapolis.

The incident began shortly after midnight, when Marshalick and Heckard were awakened by a man banging on the front door, according to police.

A neighbor on Barrensdale, Doug Meyer, said yesterday that he could hear someone yelling, `Help! Somebody please help!'"

Heckard told police he looked out the window, saw a man wearing boxer shorts, and looked for a shirt to give him while Marshalick answered the door.

According to the account, the man told Marshalick he had locked himself out of his house and needed to call an ambulance because his girlfriend had fallen and needed help.

Marshalick said she closed the door, leaving the man outside while she went to get a telephone. When she opened the door again, police said, the man fired about three shots into the house with a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun, striking her once in the chest.

Heckard heard the shots and ran to the door, only to be shot in the chest when the man opened fire again. Though wounded, Heckard charged at the suspect, wrestled the gun away and pinned him on the living room floor, police said.

Marshalick went to a neighbor's home for help.

She returned and was sitting on a chair in the living room, bleeding -- and Heckard was still holding down the assailant -- when Officer Gary Kazor arrived, police said.

Investigators recovered the gun from under a chair in the living room, police said.

Lt. Jeff Kelly, a county police spokesman, said investigators theorized that the man may have been under the influence of drugs because the attack seemed unprovoked and the victims strangers.

Creek's girlfriend, 20-year-old Jennie Hall, told police he had become agitated that night before they went to bed. She told police he began talking about the death of her brother, Michael Hall, who was shot in Annapolis Jan. 22 in a fight with a man in front of the Harbour House apartment complex, a place known for illegal drug activity. Annapolis police said they found drugs on Michael Hall's body.

Creek began crying and "talking off the wall, making no sense," Jennie Hall told police.

Neighbors said yesterday that Michael Hall had lived in the basement of the duplex on Barrensdale, where his sister shared the upper portion with Creek and their child.

Kelly said the woman told police she thought Creek had gone to bed, but he had left the house.

Neighbors in the wooded Old County Estates community -- where the usual complaints to police are about speeding cars -- expressed surprised at news of the attack.

"This isn't Baltimore. This isn't crack city," said Clark Coleman, a neighbor on Old County Road. "I never even lock the door. This guy could have just as easily walked in here. He didn't even have to knock."

Meyer, who lives next door to the suspect, said Creek and his girlfriend moved in there less than a year ago. He said he called police once after he heard them arguing and someone talking about getting a gun. "When they moved in, I told my wife, `There goes the neighborhood,' " said Meyer, who has lived in the house four years.

According to court records, Creek is awaiting trial on a marijuana possession charge. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. He was sentenced to six years in prison, with all but six months suspended, and five years' probation.

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