The four young men in custody after a shootout in Frederick last week have since been denied bail in separate hearings in county district court.
Robert Antoine Shirley Jr., 19, Kion B. Parker, 16, and Curtis Byon Smith, 17, all of Frederick, were arrested separately in the hours after the shooting, which was first reported at about 6 p.m. almost simultaneously in the Frederick Shopping Center on West Seventh Street and the parking lot in front of the Potomac Commons apartment complex on Taney Avenue. Shirley appeared before a judge on Friday, and he was denied bail. Parker and Smith, who were arrested later, and 22-year-old Dyshez Montel Williams, who was arrested Friday, didn’t have hearings until Monday.
All four young men were charged as adults with first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, but more charges were filed against Shirley and Williams.
Both Parker and Williams were represented by Assistant Public Defender Laura Garcia, who argued in favor of setting bail for Parker because he was the only person injured in the shooting — he was shot once in the leg and has since been released from the hospital — and was not mentioned much in police reports regarding the violence.
While Assistant State’s Attorney Will Prunka said he wasn’t opposed to Garcia’s request for a study to determine whether Parker could be transferred to a juvenile detention center, he argued that Parker’s gunshot wound did not exonerate him from the crimes police accused him of based on the evidence, which included video surveillance from businesses as well as witness accounts.
Garcia and Prunka sparred over that evidence when Williams appeared before Judge Earl W. Bartgis Jr., with Prunka pointing to witness testimony indicating Williams was one of several people who fired guns between the two groups.
“Mr. Williams was seen by two children firing again several rounds, and multiple vehicles were struck in the area,” Prunka said, arguing that the shootout posed a “grave risk to the community.”
Garcia told Bartgis that Williams maintained his innocence, arguing in favor of the judge setting low bail for Williams or releasing him without bail.
“Mr. Williams indicated to me that the other individual was ... shooting at him and that he didn’t have a gun,” Garcia said.
Citing the danger posed to the community by the violence, Bartgis ordered that both men remain held without bail in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.
Charles Lipscomb, a private attorney hired to represent Smith, had no more success than Garcia when Smith was called before the judge. Bartgis listened as Lipscomb questioned Prunka’s assertion that police saw Smith reaching for what appeared to be a gun in some of the video surveillance footage.
“We don’t know if that was a handgun,” Lipscomb said. “We don’t know what it was.”
Sgt. Andrew Alcorn, a supervisor with the Frederick Police Department, acknowledged that the video surveillance obtained by police wasn’t quite complete. But he maintained its importance in accurately identifying suspects and piecing together how the violence unfolded.
Police believe the shooting was between two groups of people. While charging documents indicate the shooting started in front of the Potomac Commons apartment complex before moving into the shopping center, detectives now believe the first shots were fired in the shopping center, Alcorn said. The gunfire ended with Williams walking up to a group of people including Shirley, Smith, Parker, 22-year-old Richard Lee Thomas and a fifth unidentified young man, according to court charging documents.
As he approached, Williams pulled a handgun and fired several times at the group, then turned around and fled back in the direction of the shopping center.
Shortly after Williams fled, Shirley got behind the wheel of a Honda CRV and left the area, police said. Video surveillance obtained from businesses in the shopping center immediately prior to the gunfire in the apartment parking lot shows Williams and another unidentified young man clashing with members of the other group in the shopping center, resulting in several exchanges of gunfire.
“So there’s a total of seven individuals who were involved in this altercation, and of those seven there are only two who haven’t been fully identified, and of the other five, Mr. Thomas is the only [suspect] we haven’t picked up yet,” Alcorn said. “Mr. Thomas currently has an active arrest warrant out for him, and we are trying to find him. He knows we are trying to find him, and we believe he is running.”
Shirley was arrested first, shortly after patrol officers found the CRV he was driving abandoned in the 600 block of Village Grove Road. Shirley, Thomas and Smith were seen walking about five blocks away from the car, but when they returned to investigate, only Shirley was located. Shirley ran when police approached him and was arrested after a brief chase with the key to the CRV in his pocket.
The CRV was later determined to be stolen, leading police to charge Shirley with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
Parker was identified as a suspect when he showed up at Frederick Memorial Hospital seeking treatment for the gunshot wound to his leg and hospital staff notified police, according to charging documents. A short time later, Smith was arrested after he came to the hospital to visit Parker and detectives identified him based on video surveillance, the documents state.
Anyone with further information about the shooting or the identities and whereabouts of those involved is asked to contact Detective Matt Irons at 240-674-8942. Those who wish to remain anonymous can reach the department by voice mail at 301-600-8477 (TIPS), by text message to 240-674-8477 (TIPS), or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was updated at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, 2019.