Police: Former corrections officer linked to 5 shootings in Md.
A shooting spree across three Maryland counties has come to an end after a suspect was captured by police after five shootings since last week.
Former corrections officer Hong Young, 35, was taken into custody without incident on Tuesday.
It was after shootings on the Intercounty Connector and at a National Security Agency building on Tuesday that investigators realized this was a serial shooter.
Police in the region mobilized all the manpower they could to hunt down the gunman.
"We kicked every effort we have into overdrive," said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare.
Three of the shootings happened in Anne Arundel County. The shooting spree culminated Tuesday night with gunfire on the ICC and then hours later at the NSA on Fort Meade.
For law enforcement in the area, it was reminiscent of the 2002 sniper attacks that killed ten people and wounded three others in a series of random shootings.
"In the space of probably 24 hours that went from one incident to five total incidents that we were with some certainty able to say were linked," said Chief Altomare.
Anne Arundel County police had captured surveillance video of the suspect in a Lincoln Town Car at the first shooting on February 24 near a Costco gas station at Arundel Mills.
Investigators put out a lookout for the car. Just before 10:30 p.m. two officers on patrol spotted Young at the same Costco.
"They saw a vehicle that fit that description," said Anne Arundel County Police Lt. T.J. Smith. "They pulled that vehicle over. They got the bad guy."
Inside the car, police found a .380 semi-automatic handgun and shell casings.
Prince George's County police showed up in force at Young's home just after 11 a.m. Wednesday and spent several hours inside. Young's parents were there, but were not detained as officers went room to room looking for anything that could help investigators with a motive. They left carrying more than a dozen items, including ten firearms -- an assortment of long guns and pistols -- and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Police conducted ballistics tests and linked a gun and shell casings to four of the five shootings.
"The gun that was used and recovered was a Bersa caliber semi-automatic handgun," said Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw. "It was legally registered to the suspect that was arrested in this case."
In the first shooting, the suspect fired at a car at Arundel Mills as it was leaving the Costco gas station. The victim was grazed by a bullet and his car was hit with multiple shots.
The next two shootings happened on March 2. Shots were fired from the parking lot at a Walmart in Laurel early in the morning. There is still a bullet hole above a doorway, but no one was hurt.
Less than two hours later, shots were fired at a movie theater at Columbia Mall. No one was hurt.
The next day, shots were fire at a truck on the ICC and then at an NSA building. Two men inside the truck barely escaped the bullets.
"We have two folks that were put in mortal fear for their life and the good news today is that neither of those folks suffered a serious injury," said Chief Altomare.
All of the shootings appeared random. Police say the evidence and interviews with Young confirm he is responsible for the shootings. What they don't know yet is why?
"We don't know what the mindset is," said Lt. Smith. "I know everybody wants to know what a motive is. We're still investigating this case and we're still trying to figure that out ourselves."
Young was taken to the hospital and remains under police guard. Police are not saying why he is being treated.
Young is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and various gun charges.
According to officials with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Young worked as a corrections officer in Jessup from January 2012 until May 2014 when he resigned.
Young lived in a house in Beltsville with his mother, father and sister. Neighbors say this family kept to themselves and even long-time residents didn't know much about them. Although they have been living next door to the family for over a decade, Joy Abraham says they didn't know their names. He says there was a language barrier at times.
"We really don't know much about him at all," he said. "He just doesn't look at our face. He just walks around once in a while. I would see him in some kind of a uniform. I thought he was some kind of a security guy."
Court records show Young's wife filed for divorce last September, and on Monday, the records indicate the petition was dismissed. None of the neighbors we talked to reported any kind of problems, arguments or unusual behavior here.
Timeline of the shooting incidents:
- 7:30 a.m., February 24
- 7661 Arundel Mills Boulevard, Hanover, MD
- 2:50 a.m., March 2
- Walmart 3549 Russett Green East, Laurel, MD
- 4:51 a.m., March 2
- AMC Movie Theater 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD
- 2:45 p.m., March 3
- ICC Prince George's County
- 6 p.m., March 3 NSA facility National Business Parkway