Car backfiring blamed


The sound of "gunfire" that alarmed Columbia residents early Monday and Tuesday was nothing more than a Columbia man driving a car that backfires, police said Wednesday.

Police stopped the 20-year-old man, whose named was not released, about 2 a.m. yesterday as he drove his Oldsmobile Cutlass at Old Columbia Road and Route 29. The Cutlass matched the description of a car seen earlier by a witness who thought it might be involved in the series of supposed gunshots heard in Columbia.

The man told the officer that he's able to make his car backfire, which sounds like a gunshot. He acknowledged that he was responsible for the sounds that caused residents to call 911, Sgt. Gary L. Gardner said.

The gunfire had been heard in the Kings Contrivance and Hickory Ridge villages, Howard County police said. Police are investigating.

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