Homicide investigation

Police are seeking the public's assistance in an early morning homicide outside the McDonald's in Middletown. Anyone with information is asked to call R. Todd Swartz, a Frederick County Sheriff's Office investigator, at 540-662-6162 or call Winchester/Frederick/Clarke Crime Solvers at 540-665-8477.

MIDDLETOWN — The killing of a man found in the parking lot of the McDonald's restaurant at 85 Reliance Road about 3:20 a.m. today is under investigation.

Lt. Warren Gosnell, Frederick County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said late this morning that the shooter remained at large as investigators pursue leads. He said the victim is a white man, but his name isn't being released until family members are contacted. Gosnell said the shooting wasn't random and there is no threat to area residents. He said few details are being released to avoid compromising the investigation.

"It's all hands on deck," he said. "It's going full steam ahead."

Witnesses said deputies with flashlights were searching the scene shortly after arriving. Angela and William Franklin, who were staying at the Econolodge behind the McDonald's, said they were unable to leave for a medical appointment at 4:15 a.m. because the road was blocked off. The Franklins said they saw about about eight police cruisers at the scene and that deputies also searched outside the Econolodge. A manager at the Econolodge wouldn't comment.

Lane Ferguson, a McDonald's manager, said the body of the victim was covered with a sheet in the front parking lot when he arrived about 4:50 a.m. The restaurant, which is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., remained closed at 11 a.m. today. Ferguson said all police told him was that a homicide had occurred. "I'm still shaken," he said.

— Contact Evan Goodenow at egoodenow@winchesterstar.com

(1) comment


With the facts so far, I figure bad drug deal!!

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