Howard County police say a 16-year-old girl is dead and her mother was hurt in an attack in their Ellicott City home early New Year’s Day.
Police were called to the home on Knoll Glen Road in Elliott City around 2 a.m. They say Charlotte Zaremba’s mother, Suzanne Zaremba, 52, heard a scuffle in her daughter’s bedroom, and when she entered the room, the suspect fired a shot at her, her daughter and then himself. Suzanne Zaremba was treated and released from the hospital, according to police. Charlotte died at a local hospital. She was a sophomore at Howard High School.
“She was one of the nicest girls I've ever met,” said friend Taylor Carey. “If you ever had a problem, she was open ears. She touched so many people's hearts.”
Brian Kushner, Charlotte’s former martial arts instructor, told FOX 5 he was sick over such a shocking crime.
“I haven’t cried yet, but I want to throw up. I’ve wanted to throw up all day,” he said. “It’s horrible, I can’t put it into words, I just can’t. For her mom to be in the room and survive. I mean, I just can’t even imagine.”
Kushner said Charlotte was always sweet and seemed to have a lot of friends He described her as quiet and small, but strong-willed.
“My daughter gave a perfect description: ‘Small, but mighty,’” he said.
Police say the alleged gunman is being treated for life-threatening injuries at Shock Trauma in Baltimore. They have not identified the suspect, and investigators say it’s unclear what, if any, connection he has to Charlotte.
The principal at Howard High emailed a letter to parents Sunday informing them of what happened and letting them know extra counselors will be available Monday.
Howard County Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 410-313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.