Injured man, 22, arrested in shooting

Suspect shot self fleeing scene in Harper's Choice, police say

September 05, 2004|By Molly Knight | Molly Knight,SUN STAFF

Howard County police arrested a 22-year-old Columbia man yesterday, charging him in the shooting of a teen-ager in Harper's Choice village last week.

Sedrick "Rico" Legaspi, 22, of the 5900 block of Grand Banks Road has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault and weapons violations, police said.

The arrest came one day after police discovered weapons hidden near the scene of the shooting, which took place shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday in the 6100 block of Turnabout Lane near the Harpers Forest Apartments.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Sunday's Howard County edition of The Sun on a shooting in Columbia's Harper's Choice village contained three errors. Howard County police discovered weapons shortly after the shooting occurred on Aug. 31, not three days later. The shooting was not the first in Harper's Choice, where there was a fatal shooting in September 2000. Wolfger Schneider is a representative of Harper's Choice on the Columbia Council, but he is not on the Harper's Choice Village Board. The Sun regrets the errors.

Police and fire department medics found the victim -- 17-year-old Melvin Sanchez of Columbia -- lying near a playground with a gunshot wound to his lower body.

Police then found Legaspi lying nearby in the 11000 block of Berrypick Way with a gunshot wound to his leg.

Both men were taken by state police MedEvac helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Sanchez was treated and released earlier this week.

Police arrested Legaspi as he was being released from the hospital.

According to the police report, Legaspi is believed to have shot himself while fleeing the scene of the shooting. Police also said they suspect the shooting stemmed from a dispute between the two men, but would not offer details on the how the dispute began.

Many residents of Harper's Choice ran to help the two men after they heard gunfire and screams.

It was the first violent crime in Harper's Choice since New Year's Day in 1999, according to news reports, when two pizza delivery workers were robbed of $40.

Last night, residents said they took comfort in the news of the arrest.

"It's certainly a relief," said Wolfger Schneider, a member of the Harper's Choice Village Board and 25-year resident of the neighborhood.

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