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Police: Brother kills sister in self-defense after she shot at him

A Taneytown man appeared to be acting in self defense when he shot and killed his sister after she entered his home and started shooting Sunday night, and he likely won't be charged with any wrongdoing, prosecutors said Monday afternoon.

Richard Hunter, 47, shot his sister, Mary J. Glacken, 68, at his home in the 5000 block of Francis Scott Key Highway near Taneytown shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday.

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Police said Glacken, of Taneytown, had entered the house and fired multiple times before Hunter retrieved a shotgun and fired back, killing her.

Hunter was interviewed by Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators following the incident and, after consultation with the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office, was released without being charged.

"Anybody has a right to defend themselves and defend others when they're in danger," Carroll County State's Attorney Brian DeLeonardo said.

Investigators will continue to update the State's Attorney's Office, according to Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley, and the State Police Homicide Unit will provide prosecutors with a full report upon completion of the investigation for review regarding charges.

"The initial indication is that self-defense was involved, but this will be investigated thoroughly, as any fatal shooting is," Shipley said. "The completed investigation will be reviewed by the [Carroll County] State's Attorney's Office and, ultimately, it will be up to the prosecutor to make the determination whether or not charges are warranted."

A motive for Glacken's action was not known, but police said she and Hunter had a "strained" relationship.

Hunter told police he and Glacken had talked by phone earlier that night and agreed to Glacken visiting their mother, who is seriously ill and lives with Hunter and his wife.

When Glacken arrived, Hunter saw her get out of her car and remove a handgun from her purse, according to police. Shipley said Glacken shot once at the door, then fired "several" rounds once she entered the home.

Hunter retreated to a bedroom, got a shotgun and confronted Glacken, who was in the kitchen area. Hunter told police Glacken was raising the handgun toward him when he fired the shotgun and struck her.

Hunter sent a text to a friend who is a Carroll County Sheriff's deputy reporting the shooting. The deputy called the 911 center to report the shooting, then responded to the home and found Glacken deceased.

Crime scene investigators found a pistol in Glacken's hand and evidence was obtained indicating the handgun had been fired outside and inside the home. Police also found a loaded magazine in Glacken's purse and loose rounds of ammunition in her car.

Crime scene technicians found evidence indicating one handgun round had entered the door to the bedroom where Hunter's wife and his mother were. Neither was injured.

The pistol was identified as a .380-caliber handgun, Shipley said, although he did not have information on the make of the weapon. Investigators are still looking into whether the gun was registered to Glacken, Shipley said.

Following the incident, Hunter was taken to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office for questioning. The interview and evidence from the preliminary investigation were reviewed with a member of the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office, who was consulted throughout the investigation, and it was determined Hunter would be released from custody Sunday night.

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Shipley said there is no concern that Hunter texted a friend he knew was a police officer after the incident rather than calling 911 himself.

"He contacted police immediately; it happened to be someone he knew," Shipley said. "I can't explain that other than we are looking at it as he contacted police."

Maryland State Police investigators obtained a search warrant for the home before it was processed for evidence.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit responded to conduct the investigation. State Police homicide investigators, assisted by Carroll County Sheriff's Office crime scene technicians, and investigators and deputies from the state police and the sheriff's office, worked throughout the night processing the scene and conducting interviews.

DeLeonardo said his office was informed of the shooting and was in contact with investigators by phone throughout the night and into Monday morning. A prosecutor was also at the scene assisting police.

Times staff writer Heather Cobun contributed to this article.

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