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Police investigating shooting death in Columbia

Third killing in Howard County this month; police have no suspects

From staff reports

2:29 PM EDT, May 16, 2013

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Howard County Police are searching for a suspect or suspects in the shooting death of a Columbia man early Thursday morning after an altercation at the Berkshires apartment complex.

According to police, Omar Oliver, 39, was shot multiple times outside his apartment building in the 5200 block of Brook Way at approximately 1:30 a.m. after an altercation.

A family member of Oliver's called 911 after hearing an argument followed by gunshots, according to a police press release.

The family member looked out a window and saw Oliver on the ground in a grassy area near the apartment. Another family member went outside and started to perform CPR until paramedics arrived, the release stated.

Oliver was pronounced dead on the scene, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

Police are continuing to investigate, but do not have a suspect or motive at this time.

Berkshires resident Chad Rankins, who also lives within the 5200 block of the Brook Way, said he didn't hear gun shots and was not alerted to the crime until a police officer knocked on his door Thursday morning.

"We've been here all night, and we didn't hear or see nothing," said Rankins, who moved to the complex eight months ago.

Rankins mother, Brenda Rankins, said the crime was a "little too close to home."

"I've never had any problems with anyone in this neighborhood," she said.

Chad Rankins said he believes the apartment complex is mostly families and that there is a "friendly" atmosphere.

"I never thought in a million years anything like this would happen here," he said.

Anyone with information, particularly any residents of the Berkshires who may have seen or heard something around 1:30 a.m., is urged to contact police at 410-313-STOP, or use the free smart phone app "iWatchHowardCounty." All tips may remain anonymous.

Thursday's shooting death is the third killing in Howard County this year, all of which have occurred since the beginning of May. Deborah Castellano, 47, was found shot dead inside her car on the morning of May 4. An ex-boyfriend, Ryan Patrick Matthias, 43, has been charged in her killing.

On May 10, Howard County real estate blogger Dennis Lane was found stabbed to death inside his Ellicott City home. His 14-year-old daughter Morgan Lane Arnold and her 19-year-old boyfriend Jason Bulmer have been charged with first- and second-degree murder in his death.