La Plata man ar­rested af­ter al­legedly shoot­ing at hun­ters

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By CERONE WHITE cwhite@somd­

A La Plata man has been charged in a shoot­ing in­ci­dent in which he al­legedly shot at boaters who were hunt­ing on Nan­je­moy Creek last Satur­day night.

Austin Lee Tip­pett, 23, of La Plata has been charged with sev­eral counts of first- and sec­ond-de­gree as­sault in re­la­tion to the al­leged shoot­ing, which re­port­edly took place off of Hel­wig Farm Road.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments vic­tims An­drew David Fox, John David Boyd, Bryan Cory Bond and Joseph Ian Hay­cock were all hunt­ing on Nan­je­moy Creek and had an ex­change of words with Tip­pett about own­ing the prop­erty. The men told Tip­pett that he did not own the wa­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Tip­pett asked the boaters to not go to the pier be­cause he was go­ing to hunt bull­frogs, and shortly there­after they ob­served Tip­pett al­legedly shoot­ing in their di­rec­tion. Tip­pett reloaded the weapon he was us­ing and con­tin­ued to shoot in their di­rec­tion.

Fox, Boyd, Bond and Hay­cock turned their boat lights

off and, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, they heard an­other five to 10 more shots. The vic­tims yelled at Tip­pett to stop shoot­ing in their di­rec­tion as they could all see and hear rounds skip­ping off the wa­ter in front of their boat. The vic­tims took cover by lay­ing down in the boat. Per court doc­u­ments, ap­prox­i­mately 15 to 20 shots were fired in their di­rec­tion.

Af­ter the shoot­ing sub­sided, the men con­tacted po­lice and Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fi­cer Fen­lon ar­rived on the scene shortly af­ter 10 p.m. Fen­lon asked Tip­pett about the al­leged shoot­ing and Tip­pett de­nied shoot­ing any­thing, claim­ing he was light­ing off fire­crack­ers. Shell cas­ings were found and Tip­pett was asked by Fen­lon where he put the gun. Tip­pett took Fen­lon into the woods where weapons were lo­cated. Court doc­u­ments state that a Mar­lin .22 cal­iber ri­fle fully loaded with 17 rounds, a Browning .22 hand­gun fully loaded with 11 rounds and a Ruger loaded with nine rounds were found. Tip­pett also had a live .22 round in his back left pocket.

Tip­pett was charged with four counts of first-de­gree as­sault, four counts of sec­ond-de­gree as­sault and four counts of reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, ac­cord­ing to court records.

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