Third, fourth suspects are arrested

Gun believed used in shootings is recovered

classes resume

Randallstown School Shooting

May 11, 2004|By Julie Bykowicz and Sara Neufeld | Julie Bykowicz and Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

As Randallstown High School students returned to class yesterday for the first time since gunfire left four of their classmates wounded, police arrested the final two suspects and found a handgun they believe was used in the shooting.

Authorities also said yesterday that one of the suspects -- Randallstown student Matthew T. McCullough, 17 -- had been searched for weapons and told to leave the area near the school just hours before Friday's shootings.

Early yesterday, Tyrone D. Brown -- known as "Fat Boy" -- was arrested by police acting on a tip, authorities said. He was apprehended without incident at a street corner near Pimlico Race Course, police said.

FOR THE RECORD - Because of an editing error, a photo caption yesterday misidentified a suspect in the Randallstown school shooting. The photo was of Tyrone D. "Fat Boy" Brown, not Matthew T. McCullough. The Sun regrets the error.

Antonio R. Jackson, 21, surrendered yesterday afternoon at Baltimore County police headquarters in Towson.

Brown, 23, and McCullough have been described in court documents and by police as the shooters. McCullough turned himself in Sunday. Police arrested Ronald P. Johnson, 20, a 2002 Randallstown graduate, the evening of the shooting.

All four are charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder and are being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

McCullough, a junior at Randallstown, had been told to stay off school grounds Friday to "cool down" after a fight earlier in the week, according to Principal Thomas Evans. An administrator saw him on Offutt Road near the school about 2:30 p.m. and notified a police officer assigned to the school, police said.

The officer patted McCullough down, searched his car and reminded him to stay away from school property, county police spokesman Bill Toohey said. McCullough assured the officer that everything would be OK and left, Toohey said.

While McCullough was talking to the officer, he was approached by the father of the youth who was the target of McCullough's anger, according to the father and Evans. The Sun is not identifying the father or his son because of the family's concerns for the boy's safety.

The father said McCullough had started to date his son's ex-girlfriend, but the girl continued calling his son. He said his conversation with McCullough lasted about 15 minutes, and he described it this way:

"I poured my heart out to the kid. I was extremely respectful of him, and he was extremely respectful of me. ... He admitted to me that it was stupid. ... I told him this black-on-black crime has got to go. I talked positive to this young brother and tried to defuse this thing. He made no threat to me. We shook hands afterward."

The two police officers assigned to Randallstown High left about 3 p.m. Evans said they believed the situation with McCullough was settled, and they did not think police were necessary as students stayed after school for a charity basketball game between politicians and faculty.

He said the officers always attend student football and basketball games and other extracurricular events where strong team rivalries exist.

"There was no way possible that we could have known this would have escalated to the point it did," Evans said yesterday at a meeting with parents in the school cafeteria. He said the school's police officers successfully calm similar situations regularly and that the school deals with angry students every day.

About 4:30 p.m. Friday, McCullough, Johnson and Brown arrived at the school parking lot in a gold 1989 Honda, said Toohey, the police spokesman. There, the three met with Jackson, who had driven a black BMW to the school, he said. The BMW had been leased to Jackson, according to court documents.

Although police believe the group was there to confront the student over the girl, they apparently got into a fight with other students in the school parking lot.

Police believe that first Brown and then McCullough fired shots across a parking lot crowded with about 70 students who had just left the basketball game. None of the four injured students was involved in either the fight over the girl or the fight that broke out in the parking lot, police said.

The most seriously injured student, William Thomas, was in critical condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was being treated for gunshot wounds to the neck, back and lung.

Sophomore Andre Mellerson, who was being treated for a gunshot wound to the left shoulder, was in fair condition at Shock Trauma last night, the hospital spokeswoman said.

The other two victims, junior quarterback Marcus McLain and senior basketball player Alex Brown, were treated at area hospitals and released.

After the shooting, Johnson, Jackson and Brown fled in the BMW while McCullough ran off, police said. The BMW was discovered on a nearby dead-end street, but police are still looking for the Honda, which bears Maryland license plate MKA 473, police said.

The charges against the men carry a possible life sentence.

In charging documents, Jackson is accused of driving the getaway car. Police also believe the handgun was in the BMW when it was driven to the school.

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