Westminster Police investigating second downtown shooting incident in week, believe both cases drug-related

The Westminster Police Department is continuing to investigate two separate shooting incidents that occurred in downtown Westminster in the last week.

Police Chief Jeff Spaulding said Monday they do not yet know if the incidents are related, though investigators are looking into the possibility. Spaulding also said Monday they believe both incidents are drug-related and targeted incidents.

“Unfortunately, incidents of this type tend to occur around drug activity,” he said.

As of Monday morning, he said police had not made an arrest.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work on this case. [We] worked essentially thought the weekend,” he said.

Both incidents happened in the East Green Street area, according to a news release from the Police Department. The first incident occurred at about 9:10 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, when a motorist observed several shots being fired toward an individual who was running across East Green Street near Church Street.

In that case, there were no reports of injuries and the victim has not come forward to police, though ballistic evidence was recovered from the scene, according to the release.

At about 9:55 p.m. Friday, another shooting was reported, this one in the 100 block of East Green Street, according to the release.

Several African-American men in dark clothing were observed running from the area following the shooting, according to the release. A local resident reported being robbed at gunpoint prior to the shooting.

Ballistic evidence was again recovered from this scene, according to the release.

Spaulding said they have increased patrols with assistance from Maryland State Police and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are pursuing all leads in the investigation,” he said, though added that he could not provide any specifics to the investigation.

Spaulding said his office is developing plans and had a meeting scheduled with MSP and the Sheriff's Office on Monday afternoon to talk about a longer-term strategy to pursue the investigation and continue the additional patrols.

While these are not typical events for incidents Westminster and the community is worried, Spaulding said, because the events appear targeted, the general public should not be overly concerned.

“We do not believe that these were just random events,” he said.

That said, he added, people should be cautious, and if they see anything suspicious, they should call police.

Anyone with information relating to these cases can contact Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Schuster of the Westminster Police Department at 410-848-4646. Information may be provided anonymously by contacting the TIPS line at 410-857-8477 or by text to 847411, keyword TIPWPD.

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