Two BB gun incidents prompt WMC warning

2 students injured in shooting

teen suspect is charged

September 07, 2001|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Western Maryland College students received fliers this week asking them to be alert after two recent incidents of someone firing a BB or pellet gun in a parking area near a dormitory on the Westminster campus.

At least two students suffered minor injuries in the first shooting, when someone fired at them about 1:15 a.m. Aug. 31 as they walked behind the Blanche Ward Hall dormitory, according to Westminster police and a college spokesman.

"The students had been shot with what we believed to have been a BB gun," said Capt. Randy Barnes of the city police, leaving "bruising, and that kind of thing."

Campus police officers searched the area and saw a boy pointing what appeared to be a rifle toward the college, held him and called city police, Barnes said.

A 17-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with reckless endangerment, a BB gun was confiscated, and he was released to a parent's custody, he said.

The second incident occurred about 9:20 p.m. Sunday, said a college spokesman, Donald W. Schumaker Jr.

"Another student reported hearing pellets whizzing by, or in the area pinging off of things, in the same area around Blanche Ward Hall," Schumaker said.

Police have no suspects in that incident, and there were no injuries or damage reported.

But after the second incident, he said, the college issued fliers Monday describing the shootings and asking students to be alert, to travel together and in lighted areas at night, and to immediately report any suspicious activity to the police or to campus security.

"We do feel it is a very serious incident, because we do have a lot of people that walk in that area at night," Schumaker said. "This is their community; this is their city."

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