A Washington County SWAT team has arrested a fifth man believed to be involved in the June 20 shootout near West Seventh Street in Frederick, the Frederick Police Department announced Wednesday.

Police arrested Richard Lee Thomas, 21, of the 5600 block of Glenrock Drive in Frederick, shortly before 11:25 p.m. Tuesday after the Frederick Police Department learned that Thomas might be staying at a house in the 1100 block of Salem Avenue in Hagerstown. After confirming Thomas’ location, officers from the Frederick and Hagerstown police departments wrote a joint search and seizure warrant, according to the release. The Washington County SWAT team arrested Thomas and two other people with open arrest warrants in a sweep of the home in question.

“[Thomas] was hiding in the attic of the home, he was actually hiding in the insulation in the attic, with two other individuals,” Frederick County Assistant State’s Attorney Will Prunka said at a bail review hearing Wednesday afternoon in Frederick County District Court.

As of Wednesday afternoon, detectives did not believe any of the other people arrested with Thomas were involved in last week’s shooting, but detectives were looking into all possibilities, said Sgt. Andrew Alcorn, the supervisor of the Frederick Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division. Several guns were also found in a search of the house, but it was not certain if any of them were used in the shooting in Frederick.

“They’re going to have to be taken to the lab for testing. ... Some of the caliber guns that we recovered were similar calibers to some of the shell casings that were found at the scene, but we need to wait for the test results to be sure,” Alcorn said.

Thomas was taken to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center a short time after his arrest and appeared in a video conference call before Judge Eric Schaffer for a bail hearing at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Arguing that Thomas was a threat to the community and should not be granted bail, Prunka outlined the evidence police collected from the shooting, including surveillance footage taken from businesses that shows Thomas firing a handgun at another group of young men in the Frederick Shopping Center at 1305 W. Seventh St.

“There is no better way to describe this than it was a shootout in broad daylight,” Prunka told Schaffer.

Assistant Public Defender Laura Garcia asked the judge to consider revising Thomas’ bail to $10,000, of which Thomas could post a percentage to secure his release. Despite Garcia’s points that Thomas lives and works in Frederick, giving him strong ties to the area, Schaffer ultimately ordered Thomas to remain jailed without bail.

Thomas was the fifth person arrested in connection with the shootout, which left one man wounded and several vehicles damaged by bullets. The other four young men are:

  • Dyshez Montel Williams, 22, of Frederick — charged with first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and possession of ecstasy.
  • Robert Antoine Shirley, 19, of Frederick — charged with first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
  • Kion B. Parker, 16, of Frederick — charged as an adult with first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.
  • Curtis Byon Smith, 17, of Frederick — charged as an adult with first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.

Frederick police are still attempting to identify two more people involved in the shootout, according to the press release.

Anyone with information about the shootout is asked to contact Detective Matt Irons at 240-674-8942. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact the department by voice mail at 301-600-TIPS (8477), by text message at 240-674-TIPS (8477) or by email at fpdcrimetip@frederickmdpolice.org.

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

Allen Etzler is a city editor at the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at aetzler@newspost.com.

Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(18) comments


FNP needs to require Facebook login for commentators. So sick of cowards hiding behind a sn and posting toxic r-tinged comments on "certain" stories every week. Ending the anonymity is an easy first step to fixing this environment.


says "Nobis"


16 is old enough to know that it is absolutely wrong to have a gunfight and endanger bystanders. I wonder if these young men are salvageable? Not enough information in any news article to have a good idea if they are capable of reforming themselves. Deciding that is why we have judges and juries and a probation system. However if after serving prison sentences for this set of offenses, if any of them ever committed another violent offense of this seriousness the right sentence would be life in prison.


For the editor: Men are over the age of 18, legally. It should be "men and boys". Being charged as an adult does not chronologically make you an adult. For the commenters: I would encourage you to drive through the neighborhoods behind Giant Eagle. "Choices" are highly limited when you are at or below the poverty line. Those apartment complexes are a good example of that. Better role models are needed in the community to show there are alternative paths to slinging dope/guns. Maybe Boys and Girls club?


Dirtorsoil...agree 100% Choices are limited and it is on all of us to show them there are alternative paths. Seeing and believing those alternatives will help them make those wiser choices.


So you are saying because they live in a certain apartment complex they have no choice but to shoot at each other in a shopping center?


Thomas is living in a single family home and has been in constant trouble with the law.


It’s true, I’ve seen his name in the police blotter many times.


@mr_twist- I am saying understand the environment to understand the behavior. Since I live in the area, and have for over 10 years, I have seen the conditions (in that particular area) that lead to people becoming criminals. Lack of resources and guidance often is what leads to children becoming criminals. No one is born to be anything, life and experience is what shapes us. When a child is deprived basic needs (food, shelter, love, stability, etc) it starts a vicious cycle.


You think that area is bad?


Yes, I think there are pockets that are not great. Trust me I know, I lived in Baltimore city, north east, for five years. It seems to be in Frederick that one area is nice, like Hood College, and then a mile away it gets dicey. Unlike Baltimore, Frederick has a chance to try to get this under control. Prevention etc.


*Caveat- I am not saying that growing up in conditions of poverty _always_ lead to a life of crime. Also, I am not saying that these men/boys did not exercise choice to take part in this crime. They did choose this, and should experience the consequences of their behavior. What I am saying is that to prevent this from happening more in the future we should look at the root causes.


Excellent work Frederick city police! The sheriff’s office would have just simple closed the case without any arrests; like they did with the Cactus murder......


These racist cops want to lock up all our African Youth. Prison Reform now !


How about behavior reform and thereby avoiding contact with the law enforcement agencies all together? Just a thought...maybe our local yout's need to make better decisions.


What a stupid know nothing comment "capitano"...... What gives you your "knowledge" that "these cops" are racists and want to "lock up all our african youth???? Did you even read the article?? I did, and I didn't see anything there that smells of racism. I doubt that some of the "African" police officers that locked this thug up consider themselves as racist. Can you even grasp what I'm saying????


Again with the moderator! I merely pointed out that capitano's post was sarcasm. Sheesh already!


I saw his comment as sarcasm too, Gabe, but someone else seems to have gotten suckered in by it.

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