Woman shot and killed in Long Reach

A Baltimore woman shot late Monday night in Columbia has died, according to the Howard County Police Department.

The victim has been identified as Nichole Bernadette McNair, 42, of the 4300 block of Nichols Avenue, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Police said they received multiple calls, reporting at least one gunshot, at about 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12. A wounded McNair was found in the 8700 block of Hayshed Lane. She was taken to Howard County General Hospital in critical condition and died overnight, Llewellyn said.

A car that investigators think McNair was driving was found at the scene. The vehicle was still running, Llewellyn said. A piece of evidence in the car indicated that McNair worked as a bail bondswoman.

Detectives are looking into why McNair might have been in the area, Llewellyn said.

Police searched Tuesday for evidence outside of Howard High School but did not find anything, according to school Principal Gina Massella.

"We've been following up on tips and leads, and we've increased patrols in that specific neighborhood and have been conducting some searches today for evidence," Llewellyn said Tuesday. "Those are all typical things after we have a homicide like this."

Anyone with information is asked to call 410-313-STOP (7867).

Residents of the Longreach House Condominiums complex said police found McNair in a parking lot there.

"We heard a pop and heard someone screaming," said a 28-year-old woman who asked to be identified only as J.J. "I didn't know what happened. I didn't think it was a gunshot. It's disturbing. Someone died right there."

Kim Toddman, 44, who's been living in the complex for less than a year, said the neighborhood was "pretty quiet" until Tuesday night.

"I'd like to know if it's some kind of isolated incident," she said.

McNair's death is the third homicide in Howard County in 2011 and the second to occur in the village of Long Reach.

A 17-year-old boy was stabbed and killed in July in his home in the 8700 block of Airybrink Lane, which is about half a mile from where Monday's shooting occurred. An 18-year-old Columbia man was arrested and is facing trial.

And the April death of a 3-year-old Oakland Mills boy was ruled a homicide after an autopsy by the Maryland medical examiner's office determined he had been asphyxiated. There has been no arrest made in the case.

There were five homicides in Howard County in 2010.

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