Woman, 18, shot in the neck at Robert E. Lee Park

She walked to store for help, police say

July 17, 2008|By Kevin Rector | Kevin Rector,Sun Reporter

An 18-year-old woman was in critical condition after being shot in the neck early yesterday in a parking lot at Robert E. Lee Park, Baltimore County police said.

After the shooting, the woman walked to a Royal Farms convenience store at Falls Road and Lake Avenue, just north of the city line, and a store employee called police about 5 a.m., said Cpl. Michael Hill, a county police spokesman. The park is north of the store off Falls Road.

The woman told police that she had been shot in the park but was unable to answer other questions before being taken to Sinai Hospital, where she remained in critical but stable condition, Hill said. Her name has not been released.

Hill said police are unsure what the woman was doing in the park, how she had gotten there and whether she was alone when the shooter approached her. Police are trying to pinpoint when the shooting took place and hope to obtain more information once the victim can respond to questions, Hill said.

The woman was partially dressed when she arrived at the store, and police were investigating whether she had been sexually assaulted. Investigators don't know whether she or someone else removed her clothing, Hill said.

Police found an article of her clothing and bloodstains in a parking lot at the park where she apparently had been shot, Hill said. Merchants in the area expressed concern yesterday for the woman and for the safety of the area.

"All the clients today have been very upset and sad that this could happen in this area," said Gia D. Blattermann, the owner and manager of Salon Giovanna, which shares its parking lot with the Royal Farms store. "We have an open-door policy - anybody can run through at any moment. You don't want to think you can't have that."

John Midkiff, manager of nearby PC Repair, described the incident as unusual for the area. "I've been working here about a year, and it's very quiet," he said. "So it was a little shocking. ... Scared? No."

Blattermann said many of her hair salon clients live and work in the area and walk their dogs in the park. She said she and her employees sometimes take their lunches to the park on nice days.

"When all the sudden that's overshadowed by this occurrence, this shooting, it really unsettles the serenity of this area," she said.

kevin.rector@baltsun.com

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