Crime scene tape

ELKTON — An investigation is continuing after an unknown person shot a bullet through a parked van – occupied by a sleeping homeless man and his dog – while inexplicably opening fire on the street of a neighborhood near Elkton, according to the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office.

No one was wounded or injured during the incident, which occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Friday in the unit block of Willow Court in the Winding Brook neighborhood off Fletchwood Road, northeast of Elkton, police reported.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, investigators still were trying to determine if the shooter targeted the van or the homeless man inside of the vehicle, if the gunman had a different target or if he discharged the weapon randomly, according to Lt. Michael Holmes, a CCSO spokesman.

A resident called 911 at about 9 a.m. on Friday, some seven and a half hours after the incident, and CCSO deputies and detectives responded to the scene, police said. The caller, who had been awakened by the gunshots, did not decide to notify authorities until well after the incident, police added.

The caller told investigators that after hearing several gunshots while inside his residence, he saw a man flee from the parked van with a dog, police reported.

“There was a bullet hole in the rear driver’s side of the vehicle,” Holmes told the Cecil Whig on Tuesday.

Detectives recovered several shell casings at the scene, according to Holmes, who declined to specify the caliber of the shell casings and where in that area they were found, to avoid compromising the ongoing investigation. CCSO crime scene technicians worked with detectives at the scene, he reported.

Investigators also interviewed the alleged victim, whom Holmes described only as a 25-year-old homeless man who had been using the van as shelter, which is common knowledge to some residents on that street, including the caller.

“His buddy lives in the area and lets him sleep in the van. The van doesn’t run. His buddy told him he could sleep in the van and (in exchange) he has to get the van up and running again,” Holmes said, speculating that the homeless man has a “mechanical background.”

The homeless man told investigators that he stirred upon hearing multiple gunshots, including the one that sent a bullet through the van, and then ran from the vehicle with his pet dog, police said. The man later returned to the van with his dog, police added.

According to police and Cecil Whig archives, that section of Winding Brook has been the site of other shootings, as well as drug arrests, during the past several years.

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