Church shooting

Officers are posted Thursday evening on Rogers Avenue in Ellicott City, near St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Three people were shot -- two fatally -- in and around the church. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun / May 3, 2012)

Police have identified the man who they believe shot and killed two women in an Ellicott City church before turning his gun on himself.

Douglas Franklin Jones, 56, was found dead in a wooded area from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound; a handgun was found nearby, according to Sherry Llewellyn, spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Department.

"Police located a campsite in the woods with personal belongings and believe Jones was living there," Llewellyn said.

The two women shot at St. Peter's Episcopal Church were identified Friday morning as the church's co-rector, Mary Marguerite-Kohn, and its administrative assistant, Brenda Brewington, according to the county Police Department.


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Brewington, 59, of Ellicott City, was pronounced dead at the scene. Marguerite-Kohn, 62, of Relay, was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she died Saturday night.

"Jones had recently been involved in a dispute with church members," Llewellyn said. "He visited the church regularly to access their food bank, but recently had become belligerent and argumentative.

"Police believe Jones' anger with the church may have been the motive for the shooting, but don't believe any specific person or people were targeted."

Nobody else was in the church in the 3600 block of Rogers Avenue near Frederick Road at the time, she said.

Brewington began working in the church's office about four years ago, and she had also been helping out at its preschool before that, according to a July 2010 church newsletter. She has two sons, both in their 20s.

The Brewingtons have lived in a home on Rolling Meadows Road, in the Wheatfield neighborhood located off Long Gate Parkway, just south of Montgomery Road in Ellicott City, since 1991, when the home was built, according to property records.

On Friday afternoon, cars lined the street surrounding the Brewingtons' home. Individuals and families were seen entering and leaving the home.

Two men who were sitting on the porch told a reporter that the family did not want to speak with reporters at this time.

A next-door neighbor, standing outside his door, was surprised to learn that the shooting victim he had heard about in the news the night before was Brenda Brewington. He said his family and the Brewingtons have both lived in the neighborhood since the homes were built.

"That's unbelievable," the neighbor said. He declined to comment further.

Another neighbor, who lived a few houses down and across the street, said Brewington "was a very dear friend." She declined to say more, noting, "It's still very raw."

A few residents of Cornflower Court, which intersects with Rolling Meadows Road near the Brewingtons' home, said they didn't know Brewington well but saw her often.

"She always walked her white dog in the afternoon," said Lamom Sealey, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 10 years. However, Sealey said she had not seen Brewington walk the dog "for a while because her dog got old."

Sealey said she heard about the tragedy on the news Thursday night before learning the victim was her neighbor.

"I said, 'In Ellicott City?' I've lived here 10 years. I've never heard of anything like this. We thought we lived in the safest place," said Sealey, who recalled having driven by St. Peter's church several times.

Nancy Shih, another neighbor who has lived on Cornflower Court for more than 15 years, said her 9-year-old daughter, Mercy, while walking their family dog, had interacted with Brewington a few times and she was always nice to her. She also recalled having seen Brewington walk her dog.