An 18-year-old Beltsville man shot during a dispute in North Laurel one week ago died Monday night from a gunshot wound to his head, making him the third slaying victim in Howard County this year.
William Kirk Vanness Jr. of the 4500 block of Tonquil St. died at 8: 10 p.m. at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, said Barbara Crawford, a hospital spokeswoman. A family member declined to comment yesterday.
Vanness was one of two men shot at 8 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center in the 9100 block of All Saints Road in North Laurel.
Howard County police believe a group of young men gathered behind the shopping center and began fighting. Someone pulled out a shotgun and fired at least two shots. One injured Vanness in the arms, legs and head. Karum Hasan Taylor, 20, of the 11000 block of Baltimore Pike in Beltsville was shot once in the buttocks.
Members of the group drove the two victims to Laurel Regional Hospital. Taylor refused treatment; Vanness was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma. He was listed in critical condition.
Officials do not believe the incident was drug-related. Police have made no arrests and have named no suspects.
Vanness was described last week by his family as a "really nice kid." He withdrew from High Point High School in Beltsville in February, a Prince George's school official said.
His death marks the third suspected homicide this year. The first occurred March 11 when So Shan Chan, 52, of Baltimore was shot several times outside Howard County Circuit Court, police said. Police charged her estranged husband, Tuse S. Liu, with first-degree murder.
Victoria Rose Dobbin, 8 months old, died June 2. Police charged William English, 22, with second-degree murder June 23. Previous county statistics did not list the Dobbin case as a suspected homicide.
"Mr. English was charged very late in the month of June," said Sgt. Morris Carroll, a county police spokesman. "It was an administrative glitch."
Pub Date: 9/08/99