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4 shot during melee at Ijamsville party Damascus man charged in incident


Four people were shot and a Damascus man was arrested after an underage drinking party turned violent at a home in rural Frederick County early yesterday, authorities said.

Shooting broke out at the home in Ijamsville, five miles southeast of Frederick, about 12:15 a.m. after an argument erupted between partygoers and a group of young Damascus men attempting to crash the festivities, said county Sheriff Carl R. Harbaugh.

A partygoer and one of the Damascus men recognized each other from a fight they had last summer in Ocean City.

Shane C. Rupinta, 19, of Damascus, was being held in lieu of $900,000 bond in the Frederick County Detention Center.

He was charged with four counts each of assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to maim, assault and battery, reckless endangerment and handgun violations, Sheriff Harbaugh said.

Mr. Rupinta and eight other young men went to the Ijamsville home after not being allowed to crash another party in the area, the sheriff said.

The young men were talking to a parent about being allowed into the party when an argument erupted between some of them and a few partygoers.

When one of the partygoers went to find a baseball bat, authorities said, Mr. Rupinta retrieved a handgun from a car and began shooting.

Some of the Damascus men ran to a neighbor's house and called 911.

One of the shooting victims, Gene Itoh, 21, of Silver Spring, remained hospitalized yesterday. He was listed in stable condition at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C. He suffered a gunshot wound to the eye, the sheriff said.

Sheriff Harbaugh said he was unsure whether Mr. Itoh was among the partygoers or had arrived with the Damascus group.

The other victims -- Krista M. Day, 19, of Frederick; Christopher Whitmore, 21, of Annandale, Va., and Steven D. Rhodes, 18, of Monrovia -- were released after treatment at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

They were believed to be among more than 40 people -- most of them under drinking age -- at the party in the 11100 block of Mountain View Road in the Loch Haven subdivision, Sheriff Harbaugh said.

Each individual paid $5 to attend the party, which featured three beer kegs.

Sheriff Harbaugh said at least one of the parents of the host of the party was present and supervising the event at the time of the shootings.

"Most of the people we talked to had been drinking," Sheriff Harbaugh said.

"We're looking further into this and contemplating charges for alcohol violations and underage drinking."

He said the party was the third instance in a year in which parents in Frederick County have allowed large parties with underage drinking at their homes.

In each of the incidents, police issued citations for alcohol violations to the adults.

"Parents have got to understand that allowing underage people to consume alcohol on their premises is a violation of the law," Sheriff Harbaugh said.

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