Howard County man is charged in killing of Beltsville resident


Howard County police arrested and charged a North Laurel man yesterday in the fatal shooting of a Beltsville man Sept. 1.

Roger Thomas, 23, of the 9100 block of Tumbleweed Run was charged with first-degree murder, reckless endangerment and assault.

William Kirk Vanness Jr., 18, of the 4500 block of Tonquil St. died Monday night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center from wounds he received in the shotgun shooting at the Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center in North Laurel.

Police allege that Thomas fired at least two shots, hitting Vanness in the arms, legs and head, and Karum Hasan Taylor, 20, of the 11000 block of Baltimore Pike, Beltsville, in the buttocks. Taylor refused treatment.

Sgt. Karen Shinham, a police spokeswoman, said officials did know of a motive for the shooting.

"What exactly brought him [Vanness] to the Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center, I don't know," she said.

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