Sheriff: 3 children among victims shot to death in northeast Maryland

Two adults and three children were found shot to death Friday at a Maryland house after a man called 911 from the home to report a shooting, authorities said.

Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams said a man, a woman and three children — in the 5th, 7th and 8th grade — were found Friday morning in a large two-story home in Elk Mills. Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the victims, but said there is no ongoing threat to the public.

The shooting occurred on a cul-de-sac in an area of residential streets interspersed with wooded areas about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northeast of Baltimore and a few miles west of the Delaware state line.

Maryland five dead

Cecil County, Maryland officials said a man, a woman and three children — in the 5th, 7th and 8th grade — were found Friday morning in a large two-story home in Elk Mills.

"It’s a horrific day, and I know everybody’s prayers are appreciated. ... My phone hasn’t stopped ringing from people concerned about this and upset about this," Adams said.

"It’s grief is what it is at this point," Adams said. "Anytime you have a loss to these levels. Any loss is terrible, but a loss to this level, which is not a common thing — it’s certainly not a common thing here in Cecil County — it’s tragic and terrible and it takes a long time for people to process."


Deputies were called to the home just after 9 a.m. by a man who said three children and a woman had been shot and killed, Holmes said. Deputies made entry to the home and also found a man dead. A semi-automatic handgun was located near the dead man.

The sheriff declined to say what the motive might have been. He said that his office has no records of deputies responding to calls at the house.

The bodies were in different locations in the house. Video from the scene showed the home with cream siding and red shutters and a detached garage surrounded by police tape. Numerous law enforcement vehicles were at the scene.

A neighbor, Tom Driscoll, who can see the residence where the shooting happened from his home, said that a couple with three children had lived there for at least five years. He said the parents kept to themselves, but the children once brought cookies at Christmas and would sometimes bring his dogs back to him if they wandered.

He said the children were homeschooled, a detail that the sheriff had earlier confirmed. Driscoll said he would see the two girls and a boy playing on a swing set in their yard or on a trampoline.

"I don’t know why anyone would want to hurt those children. I really don’t, Driscoll said. "Things must have been really bad somehow."