In the third such shooting in the Baltimore area in less than a year, the operator of a Harford County bar shot one of two men who he said tried to rob his establishment early yesterday.
Phillipe Wolfe, 56, operator of Winters Run Inn in the 1900 block of Philadelphia Road in Joppa, told the Harford County sheriff's office that he was sleeping in the bar office when he was awakened by a sound about 5 a.m.
Wolfe walked into the bar area, where he spotted two men, said Lt. Edward Hopkins, a sheriff's spokesman. He returned to his office to get his shotgun and confronted one of the men, who he said appeared to have something in his hand, Hopkins said.
Wolfe shot the man in the abdomen, Hopkins said. The man collapsed on the parking lot and was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was in serious condition. The sheriff's office is not releasing the man's name until formal charges are filed, which could happen today.
No weapon was found on the man who was shot, Hopkins said.
The second man fled the scene, running north on Winters Run Road toward Interstate 95, Hopkins said.
Hopkins said sheriff's deputies found evidence that two men had been burglarizing the bar. The rear door had been pried open, telephone lines were cut and a video poker machine was broken into, he said.
No charges have been filed against Wolfe, although his shotgun was confiscated, Hopkins said. The Harford County state's attorney's office will conduct a formal review of the incident.
"We interviewed [Wolfe] as a victim," Hopkins said. "And he went back home."
Wolfe could not be reached yesterday for comment.
The incident was the third since March in which business operators in the Baltimore area shot intruders. The two previous shootings involved fatalities.
Two businessmen are charged with killing a man who broke into their East Baltimore warehouse in June.
Kenny Der and Darrell R. Kifer have pleaded not guilty in the killing of Tygon Walker, who they say broke into their North Wolfe Street business brandishing a weapon, possibly a hammer.
In March, Dominic "Tony" Geckle and Matthew Geckle killed an unarmed man and shot two others who broke into their concrete plant in Glyndon. A grand jury found that the brothers were protected from prosecution under Maryland's self-defense law.