A 23-year-old Columbia man was in critical condition as investigators searched for the men who shot him in the back early yesterday morning during a robbery attempt in the Village of Long Reach.
Police refused to release the identity of the man who, according to their account of the incident, was on his way home from work and walking his moped behind the Bentana apartments in the 8800 block of Tamar Drive about 12: 30 a.m. when he came across two men.
One of them was armed with a handgun, police said. They demanded money from the man, who refused to hand over the cash and ran away. As he was running, the gunman fired and hit him in the back. Residents in the area heard the shot and called police, said police spokesman Sgt. John Superson. Officers found the shooting victim behind the apartment building.
Superson said investigators believe the assailants left the area in a small or medium-sized gray, four-door car. Detectives have not been able to interview the victim, who was operated on at Maryland Shock Trauma Center yesterday. He is expected to recover, Superson said.
The assailants are described as black males in their mid-teens to early twenties, one of them with a stocky build, shaven head and wearing a black jacket with an unknown emblem.
The area where the shooting occurred is in one of the state's designated crime HotSpots, where police, probation and court officials are working together with state funds to lower crime rates. Crime in the Long Reach HotSpot has dropped in the three years the program has been in existence, according to police statistics.
Police have set up a satellite office in Long Reach Village Center, where Officer Lisa Myers holds monthly meetings. Neighborhood children began a club called Young Kids Against Violence aimed at discouraging children from getting involved in crime.
Anyone with information about the shooting should call police at 410-313-3200. Metro Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment.