A 28-year-old Washington County man beat his 78-year-old grandfather to death early yesterday before being killed with a shotgun blast by his uncle, authorities said.
Daniel Addison Ingram Jr. -- who authorities said had a history of mental illness -- went on a rampage in his relatives' Colonial Park neighborhood outside Hagerstown about 2:30 a.m.
Mr. Ingram arrived "screaming and yelling" at his grandparents' home on Harvard Road about 2:30 a.m. and, once inside, began tearing up the house and threatening his grandfather, Elbert Barron, said Dr. Edward W. Ditto III, deputy county medical examiner.
While his grandmother, Ruth Barron, ran for help, Mr. Ingram used his fists to fatally pummel his grandfather, Dr. Ditto said. "I don't think I've ever seen a face so disfigured," the medical examiner said. "His grandmother said [Mr. Ingram's] strength was superhuman."
Mr. Ingram then got into his car and drove across several lawns toward an aunt's house on nearby Catawba Place. After hitting a tree, he got out and ran the final 100 to 200 feet to the house, Dr. Ditto said.
Arriving about 3 a.m., Mr. Ingram kicked down the front door and went after his aunt, Patricia Nicholson. Her husband, Glenn Nicholson, fired a warning shot into the air, Dr. Ditto said.
Mr. Ingram briefly calmed down, Dr. Ditto said, but began muttering to himself about "taking everybody to heaven, where they would be happy with God." After a few minutes, he became hostile and attempted to attack Mrs. Nicholson.
He was halted by one blast of a 12-gauge shotgun, which struck Mr. Ingram in the right side of the neck and killed him, the medical examiner said.
Authorities found Mr. Ingram's body on the front lawn of the Catawba Place home.
Although Mr. Ingram had never been arrested, he had a history of drug and alcohol abuse that forced him to quit his job at Valentine Electric Co., Dr. Ditto said. The drug and alcohol abuse were related to a manic-depressive condition for which he had been sent to Taylor Manor Hospital in Ellicott City, the medical examiner said.
Mr. Ingram, who lived on Shinham Road about 10 miles northwest of Hagerstown, had never committed an act of violence but had been known to be verbally abusive and to threaten violence, Dr. Ditto said.
He described Mr. Ingram as "completely berserk" yesterday and said an autopsy at the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore would determine whether he had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"This is rare up here," Dr. Ditto said. "We have lots of fatalities on the highway, but a murder like this is very rare -- maybe one of two a year at most."