County police investigators are hoping an interview with the son of a Circuit Court judge will clear up how he was shot in his Chelsea Beach home Thursday night.
But it could be awhile before investigators can question Mark Alexander Thieme, 29, the son of Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.
"From what we hear it will be two or three days before we can talk to him," said Lt. Tim Bowman, head of county police Crimes Against Persons section.
Mark Thieme was in critical but stable condition Friday night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after undergoing surgery for a collapsed lung.
Investigators are calling the shooting accidental and say that there are no indications of foulplay.
The shooting happened at about 8:30 p.m. in the hallway of Thieme's home in the 500 block of Riverside Drive.
County police spokesman Officer V. Richard Molloy said Thieme was holding a Winchester .12 gauge shotgun by the barrel as he handed it to his wife.
"He was showing her some sort of unique feature of the gun," Bowman said.
Molloy said when she grabbed the stock, the gun went off, hitting him in the upper right side of his chest.
"When she called it in, she was extremely upset and crying," Molloy said. No one else was home at the time of the shooting.
He was flown by state police helicopter to the Shock Trauma Center.
Bowman said investigators havefound no evidence to indicate the gun had been tampered with that would cause it to discharge accidentally. Molloy said Mark Thieme was agun collector and had several guns in the house.
"She didn't think it was loaded at the time," Bowman said. "And assumed that it was not."
The news of the shooting shocked workers at the county courthouse, with everyone searching for details that were slow in coming. This is the second time tragedy has struck Judge Thieme's family. Another son -- Gregory -- was killed by a drunken driver about 15 years ago.
Judge Bruce C. Williams, who often ate lunch with Judge Thiemeand is a close friend, said the news made the rounds of courthouse circles like a "shock wave."
"He (Judge Thieme) just doesn't deserve this," he said. "What worries me is his wife never really got over the death of Gregory."
Vicky Leitch, Williams' secretary, said shewas "absolutely floored," when she heard of the shooting.
"Working with Judge Thieme everyday, naturally, you feel very concerned for him and his family," she said. "I think that's the way everybody feels."
Peggy Reese, Thieme's secretary for 14 years, said she heard about it when she got to work Friday and had been taking phone calls all day by people who were expressing shock and concern for the judge and his family.
Thieme's courtroom was locked Friday and cases were postponed.