Pubdate: Tue, 08 Apr 2008
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2008 The Baltimore Sun Company
Bookmark: (Youth)
Authors: Tyeesha Dixon and Brent Jones


Officers Were Investigating Suspected Drug Activity In Jessup, Police Say

Howard County police today named the two teens who were shot and
wounded by a police officer yesterday. The teens were injured by a
shot apparently fired accidentally by a Howard County police officer
during an investigation of suspected drug activity in a Jessup
neighborhood, police said.

Dwain Usery, 14, of Jessup, was shot in the abdomen and was taken to
the Johns Hopkins Children's Center where he is in fair condition.
Garcia Wilson, 15, also of Jessup, was shot in the arm and was treated
at Howard County General Hospital, police said. He was released last
night. Both teens are freshmen at Hammond High School, according to
the county school system.

Sherry Llewellyn, a spokeswoman for Howard County police, said the
shooting occurred at 5:19 p.m. at Pleasant Chase Road and Summit Hill
Way as undercover officers were conducting surveillance of the area
because of suspected drug activity. The undercover officers thought
they saw a drug deal taking place in a car, Llewellyn said. She said
she didn't know how many officers were involved.

An interaction with the youths ensued, and the officer's gun
discharged, Llewellyn said.

She didn't say where the youths were when they were struck, but she
thought the teen with the arm injury was hit first and that the same
bullet hit the other teen in the torso. She said she thought the arm
wound was minor.

Police did not release the name of the officer involved in the
shooting, because he is undercover, but police said that he is a
seven-year veteran of law enforcement who has been a member of the
Howard County department for four years. Internal Affairs is
investigating the incident, according to a statement released this

Llewellyn said illegal drugs were recovered at the scene but did not
say whether police suspect that the wounded youths were buying or
selling them.

After the victims were taken to hospitals, about 20 residents, adults
and children, remained to watch police take photos of the scene. A
grassy area at the end of the Summit Hill townhouses and part of a
sidewalk were cordoned off with police tape. Patrol cars and unmarked
police cars lined both sides of nearby Pleasant Chase Road.

In a phone interview last night, Jacqueline Mason said she heard the
gunshot from her home in the 8300 block of W. Summit Hill. Mason said
she rushed to her window and saw one of the teens lying on the ground.
She said she called 911, and that paramedics arrived at the scene soon

"He was there on the ground with another young man near," said Mason,
who said she watched as officers applied pressure to the boy's torso.

Mason, who said she has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years,
described it as quiet.

"This is not a drug-ridden neighborhood. It's not a crime-ridden
neighborhood," she said. "I've been in this neighborhood since it's
been built, and I haven't had any problems here.

"You may get some loud noise every now and then. Very seldom do you
get that. This has just totally blown me away," she said.

Christopher Eddins, who also lives in the 8300 block of W. Summit
Hill, said he has lived at his residence about seven years and has
never felt unsafe.

Eddins said he arrived home yesterday and saw "a lot of commotion. But
it seems like it's an anomaly more than anything else."

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Due to incorrect information provided by police, Dwain Usery's name
was misspelled in an earlier version of this article. The Sun regrets
the error.
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