ELKTON — A Cecilton man remained jailed Monday on attempted murder charges after he allegedly fired a bullet at a work van traveling on an Elkton-area road — shattering the rear window and narrowly missing the alleged victim, according to Cecil County District Court records.
Maryland State Police crime scene technicians recovered the bullet in the back of van’s driver’s seat, which was occupied by the alleged victim when the shooting occurred, police reported.
Charging documents identify the suspect as 22-year-old River Jordan Gatewood, whom MSP investigators arrested on Wednesday, five days after the incident that occurred on Delancey Road near the Danford Drive intersection.
The incident started at approximately 2 p.m. on July 31 outside the Royal Farms in the 1100 block of East Pulaski Highway (Route 40), where Gatewood reportedly confronted the alleged victim “about the way his vehicle was parked” in the convenience store lot, police said.
During the argument, police added, Gatewood allegedly pointed at a gun case lying on or near the driver’s seat of his white Dodge Charger and threatened the victim.
“(Gatewood) used his hand to mimic a handgun and stated, ‘I’ll take care of you’,” court records allege.
After that, the alleged victim drove his work van out of the convenience store parking lot and headed north on Delancey Road, as did Gatewood, who traveled behind him, police reported.
Near the intersection of Delancey Road and Danford Drive, the alleged victim saw Gatewood raise his right hand while in the driver’s seat of the Dodge Charger and point it in his direction, police said. Then the alleged victim heard a gunshot, causing him to pull onto the shoulder of Delancey Road, police added.
At that point, the alleged victim observed the Dodge Charger make a left turn onto the Danford Drive and, moments later, he saw the suspect vehicle traveling in the area of the Williams Chevrolet Dealership, before losing sight of the car, police reported.
When the alleged victim arrived at his home, he noticed that his work van’s rear window was “shattered consistent with the gunshot he heard while driving,” according to charging documents.
The alleged victim called 911, prompting MSP troopers and other investigators to respond, court records show.
“MSP Crime Scene (Unit) technicians processed (the alleged victim’s) work van and located a projectile in the rear of the driver’s seat,” according to charging documents.
MSP investigators were able to link Gatewood to the Dodge Charger in question, after viewing video gleaned from a Royal Farms surveillance camera, which recorded the car’s license plate, police reported.
“The same Dodge Charger was stopped in January 2020 by troopers and the driver was identified as River Jordan Gatewood,” according to a written statement of probable cause submitted by MSP Tfc. Batista, the arresting officer.
Another store surveillance camera yielded a video of Gatewood getting into that Dodge Charger, and his physical appearance matched a description that the alleged victim had provided investigators, police said.
The alleged victim later identified Gatewood as the man who fired the bullet into his work van, singling out Gatewood’s picture while viewing a photo array of six possible suspects at MSP’s North East Barrack, police added.
Based on the information provided by the alleged victim and the information gleaned from videos produced by the store’s surveillance cameras, MSP investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Gatewood and took him into custody on Wednesday, according to police.
Gatewood is charged with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault, both of which are felonies, and four misdemeanor offenses, including reckless endangerment and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony or crime of violence, court records show.
Scheduled for an Aug. 21 preliminary hearing, Gatewood remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond on Monday, four days after his bail review hearing, according to court records.