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Sunday, July 15, 2012


(ELDERSBURG, MD) – A suspect has been arrested in connection with a Carroll County shooting early this morning that left one man dead and another injured.

The suspect is identified as Jacob B. Bircher, 24, of the unit-block of Wimert Ave., Westminster, Md. He was arrested by Maryland State Police just after 7:00 a.m. today on a church parking lot on Rt. 140 at Rt. 97 in Westminster. He is being held on a temporary felony warrant charging him with first degree murder. Additional charges are pending after consultation with the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The deceased victim is identified as David J. Garrett, 36, of the 2100-block of Carmae Rd., Sykesville, Md. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

The injured victim is identified as Gary Hale, of the 3500-block of Granite Rd., Woodstock, Md. He was transported to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he is being treated for what is believed to be a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

Just after 12:00 a.m. today, Maryland State Police at the Westminster Barrack responded to a 911 call for a shooting at the Harvest Inn Restaurant and Bar, in the 2000-block of Liberty Road, Eldersburg. When troopers arrived, they found Garrett and Hale lying in the parking lot just outside the doors to the restaurant. Garrett was deceased and Hale was wounded.

The scene was secured and investigators from the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and the Westminster Barrack Criminal Investigation Section responded to conduct interviews with the more than two dozen patrons who were in and around the restaurant at the time of the shooting. Maryland State Police crime scene technicians responded to process the scene.

The preliminary investigation indicates several people, including Garrett, Hale, and the suspect, Bircher, were standing outside on the parking lot talking when, for unknown reasons, Bircher began shooting at them. Witnesses said Bircher left the scene in a dark colored compact vehicle.

Troopers learned no one at the scene seemed to be familiar with Bircher prior to the shooting. It is unknown at this time what, if any, connection he had with the two victims.

Through interviews and evidence left at the scene, State Police investigators were able to identify the suspect as Jacob Bircher. Investigators from the Maryland State Police State Apprehension Team were called out and began a search for Bircher. They were eventually able to reach Bircher by phone. Troopers convinced him to give himself up, which he did on the church parking lot in Westminster. He was arrested without incident.

A gun has not been recovered by State Police. The investigation is continuing.

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