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Ellicott City man sentenced for Walmart shooting

Ellicott City man sentenced for Walmart shooting
An Ellicott City man who shot another man at a Walmart store pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week. (Dreamstime/TNS)

A 20-year-old Ellicott City man who shot another man during a late-night encounter at a Howard County Walmart store pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday.

De’Andre Edward Eason, of the 31000 block of West Springs Drive, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of use of a firearm in a violent crime, the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

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Eason’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Police were called around midnight on Oct. 8 for a report of a fight with shots fired at the store, in the 3200 block of North Ridge Road in Ellicott City.

Officers arrived and after a brief chase stopped a vehicle in which Matthew Allen Spencer, 23, of Baltimore, was a passenger. Spencer suffered from a gunshot wound to the side of his face.

Surveillance video showed the two men interacting as Eason entered and Spencer exited the store. Spencer then returned to the store for another interaction, when Eason pulled a handgun from his waistband, raising his arm and shooting Spencer, according to prosecutors.

A Howard County auxiliary police officer in the parking lot saw Spencer leave the store, pull a .380 caliber rifle from the trunk of a nearby car and fire nine shots at the Walmart sign above the store before fleeing.

Eason, who ran from the store, was arrested on Oct. 13 after Spencer identified him during a police photo array. A search of Eason’s residence recovered a .25 caliber handgun, determined to be the weapon used in the shooting.

Howard County Circuit Court Judge Timothy J. McCrone sentenced Eason to 25 years in prison, suspending all but 10 years for the attempted second-degree murder. Eason was also sentenced to a concurrent sentence of 10 years in prison on the firearm charge, five of which are without the possibility of parole. He will serve five years of supervised probation upon release.

Spencer was indicted on seven counts of reckless endangerment and one count of prohibited discharge of a gun. His trial is scheduled for July 10.

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