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Two-state crime spree leaves 2 dead

Associated Press | April 8, 2005
By Randall Chase

LAUREL, Del. - A man wearing a bulletproof vest killed two people and wounded four others Thursday during a bizarre shooting rampage in Maryland and Delaware before police arrested him, authorities said.

Police said the suspect also carjacked a vehicle, fatally shot a dog, stole a pit bull, sprayed bullets at a series of homes and cars, and rammed an SUV into a chain-link fence during the crime spree.

Delaware State Police Cpl. Jeff Oldham said authorities had determined a motive for the attacks, but were not releasing details. Police said the suspect, Allison L. Norman, 22, did not know any of the victims.

Norman was charged with first-degree murder and handgun violations, officials said. He had failed to appear in court Wednesday for a hearing on four earlier firearms charges. Clerk Mark Bowen said the court issued a $10,000 bench warrant for Norman.

The attacks started in Laurel, where three men were shot, one fatally. It continued across the state line in Maryland as the gunman reportedly fired indiscriminately at cars, homes and pets before being caught while fleeing on foot. Three people were shot in Salisbury, Md., including one who died, Oldham said.

Two people were shot at an apartment building in Laurel, and another at a nearby shopping center.

"It was just poom, poom, poom, poom. It just scared me so bad," said Matilda Smith, a resident of the apartment building.

She saw a young man covered in blood fall off an air-conditioning unit he had been sitting on, about 20 feet from her door step.

"To me, what I could see was nothing but blood; it shook me up," she said. "I stood there and couldn't believe what I was seeing."

At the shopping center, a trail of blood led down a road. Witnesses said a man was shot on side of the road, then staggered along the storefronts before collapsing. Mayor John Shwed said this victim was apparently shot while trying to hitch a ride from the suspect as he fled the scene.

The gunman kept firing at vehicles as he drove to Salisbury, Md., where he reportedly carjacked a vehicle, police said.

Suspect in Md.-Del. Shootings Had Warrant
Suspect Charged in Fatal Maryland-Delaware Shooting Spree Was Wanted on a Warrant

Associated Press | April 8, 2005

A man charged with murder after allegedly donning a bulletproof vest and tearing through two states on an apparent random shooting spree was wanted on a warrant related to a 2004 shooting incident, authorities said.

Allison Lamont Norman, 22, of Seaford, Del., was arrested Thursday after a series of shootings that left two dead and four wounded along a bloody trail from Laurel, Del., to Salisbury, Md.

The violence erupted one day after a warrant was issued for Norman's arrest when he failed to appear in Wicomico County Circuit Court on charges related to gunfire at a shopping center and convenience store in Delmar last October.

According to court records, Norman faced one felony and three misdemeanor weapons charges related to the shooting including possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.

Davis Ruark, state's attorney for Wicomico County, said Norman had at least one drug-related felony conviction in Delaware. "Norman is know to Delaware law enforcement," he said.

Delaware State Police refused to provide details of Norman's criminal background.

Authorities were still trying to pinpoint a motive for Thursday's carnage, but said victims apparently were chosen at random.

"He was in the wrong place when the shooting started," Iris Weston, 43, said of her son, Jamell Weston, 24, who was killed at an apartment complex in Laurel.

Weston's cousin, Marcus Cannon, 18, was wounded in the arm and a 45-year-old man was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in the stomach and leg at a nearby shopping center.

Authorities said the latter victim, who staggered through the shopping center parking lot, leaving a trail of blood before collapsing, may have been trying to hitch a ride with Norman, not knowing he had just shot two other men and was fleeing in a stolen car.

"Quite a morning for a little rural town," Laurel mayor John Shwed said.

After leaving Laurel, Norman allegedly drove through Delmar, where more shots were fired. No one was hit, but one bullet lodged in a home near a sleeping child, authorities said.

In Salisbury, the gunman opened fire on cars, homes, people and dogs in a run-down neighborhood near two elementary schools, killing Davondale M. Peters, 28, and wounding two women. Witnesses told police Norman may have carjacked Peters before shooting him. They told police they saw the men arguing before Norman got out of the vehicle and shot Peters, who died at the scene.

Carla D. Green, 33, was in intensive care at Peninsula Regional Medical Center early Friday after being shot in the upper torso, officials said.

Marsha L. Henderson was released from a local hospital after being treated for a minor gunshot wound, and authorities said an elderly woman with a heart condition was taken to a hospital as a precaution after the gunman broke into her home and "terrorized" her and her husband.

"It appears to be random," Wicomico County Sheriff Hunter Nelms said, referring to the victims.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Norman after a brief foot chase. Authorities said he was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a handgun, but did not offer any significant resistance to the officers. He may have run out of bullets, they noted.

Norman was charged in Maryland with first-degree murder and handgun violations. Ruark said other charges, including attempted murder and carjacking, were possible. Delaware officials said they expected to file charges including murder and attempted murder.

Norman, who was to appear in court Friday, was being held without bond at the Wicomico County jail.

The towns where the shootings took place are on or near U.S. 13, which runs along the Eastern Shore and up to northern Delaware. Laurel, where the attacks began, is about 13 miles from Salisbury, where Norman was arrested about an hour later.

AP writer Sarah Brumfield contributed to this story.


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