Motive Still Unclear in Eldersburg Double Shooting

A Westminster man is being held in the shooting that left one person dead and another wounded.

Police said the motive remains unclear in a double shooting in Eldersburg early Friday morning that left one man dead and another wounded.

Maryland State Police said they charged Jacob Bircher, 24, of Wimert Avenue in Westminster, with first degree murder, second degree murder, attempted first degree murder, and attempted second degree murder in connection with the shooting. He was arrested about 7 a.m. on Friday.

The shooting occurred in the parking lot of Harvest Inn on Liberty Road in Eldersburg just after midnight July 13.

David J. Garrett, 36, of the 2100 block of Carmae Rd. in Sykesville was pronounced dead at the scene. And Gary Hale, 25, of the 3500 block of Granite Rd. in Woodstock, was shot in the arm and treated at the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

Bircher is being held without bail at the Carroll County Detention Center. A preliminary hearing for Bircher is scheduled for Aug. 10, according to online court records. 

Maryland State Police investigators are looking into whether the  shooting victims and the alleged gunman knew each other, said Lt. Scott Lowman at the Maryland State Police barrack in Westminster.

“It appears something provoked this guy,” Lowman told Patch on Tuesday.

Lowman also said witnesses told police “they’ve never seen the person before, but it doesn’t mean the victim did not.”

Bircher surrendered to police just after 7 a.m. on Friday in a church parking lot in Westminster. State police said they recovered a .40 caliber pistol from Bircher’s car, which was parked at the home of his girlfriend’s mother in the 1600 block of Gemini Drive, Eldersburg, not far from where the shooting occurred. The gun was legally registered to Bircher.

Police said witnesses reported that Bircher had been talking with a group of about a dozen people standing on the parking lot before he allegedly drew a handgun and started shooting.

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