Father shares details on shooting victim tied to sword attack on police

Sterling Watts, the Reisterstown teen at the center of an attempted murder investigation in which Baltimore County police killed a sword-wielding man Friday, is in stable condition with a bullet lodged in his brain, his father said Saturday.

Watts hasn't spoken with police about Friday's incident, his father, Randolph Watts, said.

Ronald Melvin Cox, the uncle of one of Sterling Watts' accused attackers, swung a large sword at police executing a search warrant in Reisterstown. A police officer fatally shot Cox.

"I didn't know the man," Randolph Watts said of Cox. "I don't know what his motive was."

Sterling Watts was found in a Marriottsville field shot in the head June 19. At Cox's home Friday, police arrested Cox's niece, Laura Christian Karr, 24, and Donald George Peoples Jr., 21, both charged with attempted murder of Watts. Chiquita Sketers, 21, of Randallstown was arrested without incident about 2 p.m. Friday and was also charged with attempted murder.

Howard County police say Peoples and Karr abducted Watts as he walked near his home. Police believe the couple then stopped in Randallstown to pick up Sketers, who had a long-barrel rifle loaded with ammunition, before driving to the field and ordering Watts out of the car at gunpoint. Peoples is accused of shooting him in the back of the head as he walked away.

Watts previously spoke with police, who used information from an interview with him and an anonymous tip to identify Peoples and Karr as suspects, and Karr's silver 2012 Mazda as the vehicle involved in the kidnapping.

Randolph Watts said Saturday he was frustrated with media for seeking information on his son only after the sword attack, which he first learned about when reporters called Friday. Sterling Watts has been in and out of consciousness, with the bullet lodged in his brain stem, Randolph Watts said, but when awake he has been speaking fine.

"He knows who I am; that's one good thing," Randolph Watts said. "I thought it would never ever happen in my life," he said of his son's shooting.

Neither Howard nor Baltimore County police had any new information on the case Saturday. Elise Armacost, spokeswoman for Baltimore County police, said more information on the warrant that led to the sword attack would not be available until Monday.



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