Man charged after gunfire

A 41-year-old Westminster man who said he fired his rifle repeatedly to celebrate the beginning of deer-hunting season kept Westminster and state police officers at bay for nearly two hours early yesterday.

Thomas Donald Carmine of the 200 block of Westminster Ave. began shooting his .223-caliber hunting rifle into the woods around his house about 2:20 a.m., Westminster police said.


As officers arrived, Mr. Carmine continued firing shots outside, police said. Officer Scott Mitchell, who was behind Mr. Carmine's house, later saw him walking around his living room.

Nearly a dozen Westminster and state police officers surrounded the house. Police reported hearing several more shots from inside.


Mr. Carmine was arrested shortly after 4 a.m. after Officer Mitchell entered the home through an unlocked window. The officer found Mr. Carmine asleep on the living room sofa without his gun.

Police said they found a .223-caliber rifle in a bedroom and recovered 13 spent rifle casings in the driveway.

No one was injured in the standoff. The Westminster police department's entire night shift was called to the scene.

Mr. Carmine told police that he and his wife, Toni Carmine, 37, argued Friday night. Mr. Carmine then began drinking, police said, and later decided to go outside and shoot his rifle into the woods nearby.

He told police he did so "in anticipation of the hunting season." Maryland's two-week deer-hunting season begins Saturday. Mr. Carmine was charged with three misdemeanors -- disorderly intoxication, discharging a firearm within city limits and reckless endangerment. He was taken before a District Court commissioner yesterday and released without bond.