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Suspect in triple killing linked to 2 more shootings

Sun Reporters

A man who killed three people Tuesday night in southeastern BaltimoreCounty shot two more people -- one of them a baby -- last night during arampage that included a carjacking and an elderly woman being handcuffed toher bed as her car was stolen, according to police.

At 2 a.m. today, the suspect remained at large.

Earlier, state, county and Baltimore police, and FBI agents, had fanned outfor several miles from the El-Rich Motel in the 8200 block of Pulaski Highway,where the suspect -- 31-year-old Joseph Palczynski -- was believed to haveholed up.

A search of the Rosedale motel failed to turn up Palczynski. However, twoweapons,a pump-action shotgun and an assault rifle, were found near the scenein addition to a stolen getaway car.

About 11 p.m., Palczynski's hostage and former girlfriend, 22-year-oldTracy Whitehead, escaped unharmed. She had been kidnapped by the suspectduring the triple murder the night before. Whitehead ran from Palczynski whenshe saw a police car on or near Pulaski Highway.

Last night's violence began about 7: 40, about 24 hours after three peoplewere shot to death in Bowleys Quarters.

Police suspect Palczynski -- a convicted felon with a history of mentalillness and domestic violence -- in all of the incidents.

While police nationwide were searching for Palczynski in connection withTuesday night's killings of George Shenk, 49; his wife, Gloria Jean Shenk, 50;and David Meyers, 42, a bloody carjacking attempt was taking place at Harewoodand Ebenezer roads in Chase.

Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey said a husband and wife werein the car and the woman had been shot. The man rushed his wife to nearbyFranklin Square Hospital; her condition was unknown last night.

"After that, there was mayhem on Ebenezer Road," according to Toohey, whosaid the would-be carjacker began shooting at passing cars in the 6800 blockof Ebenezer Road, wounding a baby but missing the child's mother behind thewheel.

About a half-mile away, the same man allegedly carjacked a ChryslerLeBaron, firing shots at the driver. He later ditched the LeBaron and stole awhite, 1987 Dodge Shadow after forcing his way into the elderly woman's homein the 5700 block of Hilltop Road about 8 p.m.

The Dodge was recovered at the El-Rich Motel.

On Tuesday night, two of the victims, a husband and wife, were killed infront of their child and grandchild in their Bowleys Quarters apartment. Thethird, a volunteer at Seneca Elementary School, was shot as he ran to thewoman's aid, police said.

The shootings left neighbors rattled.

"It sounded like it was coming from right out there," said Lisa Dietrich,28, pointing to her window of her White Pine Road apartment. "I heard a womanyell, `Oh my God! Oh my God!' Then I heard a guy say `He's been shot.' I wasafraid to move."

Palczynski, of the 500 block of Carrollwood Road, has been charged withthree counts of first-degree murder and a number of other charges in thekillings, which occurred at Town & Country Bowleys Quarters Apartments.

His former girlfriend, Whitehead, had moved there Sunday, two days aftershe left the apartment she shared with Palczynski, police said.

Whitehead, 22, had filed assault charges against Palczynski on Saturday,alleging that he beat her and threatened to kill her. Palczynski was arrestedby county police and released after posting a $7,500 bond.

Court records show that Palczynski, who has a history of mental illness, ison probation on charges of assault and obstruction of justice, stemming from a1996 incident.

Whitehead had been living in Bowleys Quarters with George Shenk and hiswife, Gloria, in a ground-floor apartment. Whitehead and Gloria Shenk hadbecome friends through work.

According to charging documents, Palczynski arrived at the apartment about8: 30 p.m. Tuesday with a shotgun and walked in through a sliding glass door.

Whitehead, the Shenks and their 12-year-old son and a 3-year-oldgranddaughter were watching television.

"Tracy, get up, you're going," Palczynski said, according to the documents.Gloria Shenk said something to Palczynski, and she and her husband were shotin front of the children, police said.

The Shenks' son ran to an upstairs neighbor for help.

"The boy came and said someone is shooting his mom and dad. He said his dadwas dead, but that his mother was still moving," said Robert Brashears, 39,who lived above the Shenks.

"I was asking, `Do you know this guy?' And he said it was the boyfriend ofthe girl staying with them."

Palczynski left the apartment through the sliding door, police said,dragging Whitehead past another building in the complex to White Pine Road,where he had parked his light-blue 1996 Plymouth Voyager van.

David M. Meyers, 42, a tenant in the other building, heard a woman yelling,looked out the window to see what was wrong and ran outside to help.

Meyers was shot several times by Palczynski, police said.

County police sent a message to police departments nationwide, saying thatPalczynski had severe psychological problems and that he is carrying 100rounds of ammunition, a rifle and a shotgun.

Court records show Palczynski has a history of domestic violence and mentalillness, dating to 1988, when he was convicted of battery for slapping andpunching a 16-year-old girlfriend.

He is on probation for a 1996 conviction for battery and obstruction ofjustice for trying to intimidate a former girlfriend and her father after thewoman filed charges, according to records in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Sun staff writers Lynn Anderson, Dan Thanh Dang and Joan Jacobson contributed to this article.

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