Man found fatally shot outside Edgewood house

January 03, 2007|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,Sun reporter

A 20-year-old man was killed late Monday in Edgewood, shot several times in his upper body and found lying in a flower bed in front of a townhouse, authorities said yesterday.

The shooting comes on the heels of a nearly 10-year high in homicides for Harford County, when seven people were killed in 2006.

About 11 p.m., Walter Antonio Overton was found unconscious by sheriff's deputies in the 400 block of Meadowood Drive. Overton was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, where he was pronounced dead.

Court records show that in late October, Overton had an address in the 2000 block of Rockwell St. in Edgewood. Lt. James Eyler, a sheriff's department spokesman, identified Overton as a resident of Middle River, where he had been staying with relatives.

There were no suspects in the killing, Eyler said, adding that neighbors had heard the gunshots but thought they were fireworks.

The shooting took place in an area of Edgewood that was the setting for a spate of violent crimes last year, including the daylight killing of a 20-year-old man who was shot in the face. But an increased police presence -- by sheriff's deputies and state troopers -- seemed to quell the violence in recent months.

"It's very difficult and very frustrating to start off the year this way," Eyler said. "We hope this is not a predictor of what we're going to see in this calendar year."

Seven deaths in the county in 2006 have been ruled homicides, and authorities are awaiting rulings from the state medical examiner on the cause of death of three women whose bodies were found over a 3 1/2 -month period in remote areas near Aberdeen.

If those deaths are determined to be homicides, the county's total would jump to 10 for 2006, the highest figure since 1989, according to statistics from the Maryland State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The number confirmed already is the highest for a year since nine homicides were recorded in 1998.

Anyone with information in Monday's fatal shooting was asked to call investigators at 410-836-5437, and a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest was offered at the county's tip line at 1-888-540-TIPS.

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