Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Skeleton of a Story

Wait, what?

From the Twitter account of East Coast Alert (@eastcoastphotog):

ICYMI: Three people shot inside a residence just after 2am in #EllicottCity Howard Co. #Maryland

I scanned back through the account to find the first mention. There it is.

2:07 am

Police & Fire responding. Howard County #Maryland #BREAKING

2:16 am

EMS requests Medevac helicopter 
Howard County #Maryland

2:20 am

4701 New Cut Road #EllicottCity #Maryland

2:21 am

EMS requests a second Medevac helicopter Howard County #Maryland

3:00 am

4701 New Cut Road #EllicottCity #Maryland
Priority 1 teenage male shot in head s/i

3:11 am

Three subjects shot. One self inflicted shot in head. 4800 blk knoll glen Dr. 
#EllicottCity #Maryland #crimescene

At the moment this isn't even a story, it's a skeleton, the bare bones of information which will soon be analyzed by law enforcement and the press. And afterwards in the court of public opinion. This, too, is Howard County. And I hate it. It breaks my heart.

These are real people in our community whose lives are damaged, devastated, destroyed. So many people who are connected to these three people will never be the same. The tentacles of violence reach out far beyond police scanner bulletins at two am. We can turn our heads away and occupy ourselves with other things. But we shouldn't.

About a week ago I wrote this:

But this "look at us with our cool guns" photo disturbs me. Show me your Christmas outfits, your new puppy, your tech toys, your Christmas tree or your holiday celebrations. I'm cool with that. I'm not cool with the concept that in the new year we'll be needing bigger guns. To the contrary I think we need to focus on better communication and fewer guns.

Well, here we are in the new year. And before it was much more than two hours old we had a story involving teens, guns, injury and loss of life. 

I still think we need to focus on better communication.


10:30 am, Howard County Police Department:

News Release: Police investigating homicide and attempted-suicide
inside Ellicott City home

Howard County police are investigating a triple shooting in an Ellicott City home overnight that resulted in the death of a teenage girl, an injury to her mother and the attempted suicide of the suspect.

Police were called to the 4800 Knoll Glen Road around 2 a.m. for shots fired inside a home. Officers arrived and found a 16-year-old girl suffering from a gunshot wound. She was transported to Howard County General Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The girl’s mother was found suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound and was transported to Shock Trauma. She has been treated and released.

Police located an unknown white male suspect inside the girl’s bedroom with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Investigators believe he may be between the ages of 16 and 20. Police do not know the suspect’s identity or if he has any connection to anyone in the household. He is in critical condition at Shock Trauma with life-threatening injuries.

It is believed that around 2 a.m. the mother heard a scuffle in her daughter’s bedroom. She entered and saw the suspect, who fired a shot at her, and then the girl, and then himself. A motive is unknown at this time.

The homicide victim has been identified as Charlotte Zaremba, 16. Her mother has been identified as Suzanne Zaremba, 52. The identity of the suspect remains unknown. Another family member was home at the time of the shooting, but was in another area of the house and was not injured.

Police are continuing to investigate and will update as new information becomes available. Anyone with information should contact police at 410-313-STOP or

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