Harford County sheriff investigates shootings outside Aberdeen motel

Authorities say dispute was over sale of dog

April 19, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Harford County Sheriff's Office is investigating a melee outside an Aberdeen motel Tuesday night in which two people were shot and wounded and a third person was seriously injured when hit by a car.

The confrontation erupted after a dispute over the sale of a pit bull puppy, said Lt. Edward Hopkins, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. "We have teams of officers interviewing dozens of witnesses, and we still are attempting to sort out all the stories," Hopkins said yesterday.

Jack F. Varner, 42, a resident of the Keyser Motel in the 1300 block of S. Philadelphia Blvd., suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was in serious but stable condition yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Kenneth Edward Austin, 52, of the 800 block of Beards Hill Road in Aberdeen, who was struck by the auto near the motel, also was in serious condition at Shock Trauma, officials said.

Mona Lisa Rockhold, 30, of the Keyser Motel, was shot in the leg. She was treated at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace and released.

Hopkins said that motel residents had an agreement to sell the dog to an Aberdeen resident, but that the agreement apparently broke down and a fight broke out. The Aberdeen man left but returned to the motel with three carloads of friends. Another brawl erupted, this time punctuated by gunfire, Hopkins said.

Authorities are attempting to identify the cars driven by members of the group who returned to the motel.

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