Feud noted in shootings, suicide

Bel Air man fatally injured one, wounded another before turning gun on himself

May 23, 2006|By JUSTIN FENTON | JUSTIN FENTON,SUN REPORTER

Before killing himself, a Bel Air man shot two other men, killing one in Pennsylvania and critically wounding another in northern Harford County, police said yesterday.

Police were trying to determine the motive behind the shootings, which occurred more than 20 miles apart over the course of several hours Sunday. Jeffrey G. Bennett, a 48-year-old firearms enthusiast, confessed to the shootings before taking his life as deputies surrounded the Darlington home where he had sought refuge, police said.

The incident began early Sunday in Peach Bottom Township, where Pennsylvania State Police found Jeffrey Storm, 53, dead in his home from a gunshot wound to the head. Police there believe he was shot between midnight and 2:30 a.m.

About 6:40 p.m., Larry Randal Bank, 50, was found with multiple gunshot wounds at his home in the 3700 block of Love Road in Darlington. He identified Bennett as the shooter but was rushed to Maryland Shock Trauma Center before he could provide more details, according to a police report.

Later, at a friend's house in the 1600 block of Poole Road, Bennett is said to have told the friend that he had shot Storm and Bank, said Robert B. Thomas, a spokesman for the Harford County sheriff. Bennett had driven to the home in Storm's black Chevrolet El Camino, Thomas said.

After the friend and his family escaped from the home, sheriff's deputies attempting to make contact with Bennett heard a gunshot, according to a police report. Upon entering the home, they found Bennett in the basement with a gunshot wound to the head.

According to the report, a handgun was found on the floor near Bennett's right hand. A loaded shotgun and rifle, along with three loaded magazines, also were recovered from the basement, though it was not clear whether they belonged to Bennett.

Thomas said that police believe the shootings were the result of a long-simmering feud, but few details were available.

"This is a huge puzzle," Thomas said. "There are a lot of questions."

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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