Police investigate Harford shooting

December 24, 2007|By Ruma Kumar | Ruma Kumar,Sun reporter

Harford County police are investigating the shooting of a 31-year-old Edgewood man, the latest in a string of violent crimes in a southwestern Harford County community that police have called the epicenter of gang violence.

Police responded to reports of a shooting at 4 a.m. Saturday and found Andre Overton shot in the neck inside his home in the 1800 block of Edgewater Drive. Overton was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, said Sgt. Christina Presberry, a spokeswoman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

Overton's brother, 20-year-old Walter Antonio Overton, was killed Jan. 1, the county's first homicide of 2007.

Authorities knew of no motive for the shooting, but Presberry said the neighborhood has struggled with gang- and drug-related violence in recent years.

"We get a lot of calls in that area," she said. "We've taken a lot of steps to make sure that area is heavily patrolled."

Three of the four homicides in the county this year occurred in Edgewood, and authorities have already taken into custody seven suspects in a Nov. 25 brawl that left a 44-year-old Edgewood man paralyzed from the waist down.

In the past year, the violence has spurred the sheriff's office to step up patrols and increase staffing in its southern precinct. This year, Sheriff L. Jesse Bane has tripled the number of deputies in the precinct, which previously had no more than 10 deputies on duty during peak evening hours.

Bane has also held a series of community meetings to allow residents to air concerns. A $3 million expansion of a nearby community and recreation center will soon house youth activity programs.

ruma.kumar@baltsun.com

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