1 killed, 1 wounded in Carroll

State police seek man who fired gun into car parked at Westminster convenience store

Baltimore & Region

December 09, 2005|By MARY GAIL HARE | MARY GAIL HARE,SUN REPORTER

A double shooting Wednesday night in Westminster left a Carroll County man dead and a Baltimore man in the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he underwent surgery yesterday, Maryland State Police said.

Donnie D. Bowman, 43, of the 100 block of West Main St., Westminster, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was the first homicide victim in Carroll County in more than two years, police said.

Bowman was a passenger in a 1992 Honda Accord driven by Lamont Dew, 39, of Clover Road in Baltimore. Both were shot in the parking lot of Little Jay's Convenience Store at Pennsylvania Avenue and Union Street.

Police said the shooting occurred about 8:30 p.m. as the two men were sitting in the front seat of the Honda near the convenience store at the west end of the city. Broken glass littered a parking space there yesterday.

"We have witnesses," said Sgt. Thornnie O. Rouse, a state police spokesman.

Witnesses told police a man approached the Honda and fired what the police believe was a shotgun into the passenger side of the car. The man then got into the back seat and the car took off, with Dew driving.

A man who identified himself as the store manager at Little Jay's but refused to give his name said yesterday that he heard the shots, but initially thought vandals were pushing outside vending machines against the building's brick wall.

The Honda traveled about two miles north to another convenience store, Jiffy Mart, at Route 97 and Magna Drive, just outside city limits. Witnesses there told police that a man fled the vehicle and ran into a field.

Tony Hooper of Westminster said he arrived at the Jiffy Mart before the police and was pumping gas into his car.

"Somebody from the store was on a cell phone telling police she saw a guy with a rifle run into the field," Hooper said. "I saw the car with the glass shot out, and I saw a man hunched over in the passenger seat."

A clerk at the Jiffy Mart called 911 to report that a bleeding man had entered the business asking for help.

"Police secured the perimeter and called in search dogs," Rouse said.

A forensic examiner pronounced Bowman dead at the scene. A state police helicopter flew Dew to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Police had not interviewed Dew as of late yesterday, Rouse said. His injuries apparently are not life-threatening, Rouse said.

"We are following leads at both locations and have flooded the area with officers," Rouse said.

Although the shooting occurred in Westminster, city police have turned over the investigation to the state police.

"Homicides are investigated by the Maryland state police," Rouse said. "Westminster is assisting."

Bowman's body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

Homicides are rare in Carroll County, which has been rated by state police as the safest jurisdiction in Maryland for the third consecutive year. The county had no homicides last year and two in 2003.

A steady stream of customers stopped into Little Jay's store yesterday, most of them aware of the incident. The business serves a neighborhood of modest households and students from McDaniel College, whose campus backs up to Union Street.

Lynn Brown, who lives nearby, was in the store Wednesday evening shortly before the shooting in the parking lot. She said she rarely ventures out past 7:30 p.m. She returned to pick up a few items yesterday.

"I am not surprised that this has happened here," said Brown. "People in Westminster think crime comes from people in Baltimore City, but there is crime right here in Westminster."

mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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