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Eldersburg Double Shooting Leaves One Dead

The suspect, a Westminster man, surrendered to police.

Police are investigating a double shooting that left one person dead Friday morning at the on Liberty Road in Eldersburg. 

Get updates on the Westminster Patch Facebook page or Eldersburg Patch Facebook page.


The suspect, Jacob B. Bircher, 24, of Wimert Ave. in Westminster was arrested by Maryland State Police just after 7 a.m. Friday on a church parking lot on Rt. 140 at Rt. 97 in Westminster, according to a police report.  

Bircher is being held on a temporary felony warrant charging him with first degree murder. Additional charges are pending after consultation with the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office, police said.

David J. Garrett, 36 of Sykesville was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gary Hale, of Woodstock was transported to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he is being treated for a gunshot wound.  

Just after midnight July 13, Maryland State Police responded to a 911 call for a shooting at the Harvest Inn Restaurant and Bar on Liberty Road in Eldersburg. When troopers arrived, they found Garrett and Hale lying in the parking lot just outside the doors to the restaurant, police said.  

More than two dozen patrons who were in and around the restaurant at the time of the shooting were interviewed by state police officers.   

The preliminary investigation indicates several people, including Garrett, Hale, and the suspect, Bircher, were standing outside on the parking lot talking when, for unknown reasons, Bircher began shooting at them.  Witnesses said Bircher left the scene in a dark colored compact vehicle, police said.  

Police said it is unknown at this time what, if any, connection the suspect had with the two victims. Police said they have not recovered the murder weapon.

Through interviews and evidence left at the scene, State Police investigators said they were able to identify the suspect as Jacob Bircher. Investigators from the Maryland State Police State Apprehension Team were called out and began a search for Bircher; they were eventually able to reach him by phone.  

Troopers convinced Bircher to give himself up, which he did in the church parking lot in Westminster. He was arrested without incident, according to a news release.  


Lisa July 13, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Drove by there around 6:15am this morning. Wondered what was going on with the police car and cars parked up and down the side road. Brings up the question, how many other murders have occured in Eldersburg? Anybody have any statistics. Prayers go out to the family of the man who was killed.
Darius July 13, 2012 at 06:40 PM
The best place to look is the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. 2011 data is not available yet (being finalized now), but overall violent crime went down in 2011. The 2010 report is here: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/table-8/10tbl08md.xls Eldersburg is listed as Sykesville, and as you can see has very little violent crime; which is why two murders in 30 days has a lot of people alarmed. The first one (stabbing) was personal, which is less concerning. We'll see what the story is one full details of last night's shooting are out.
Roscoe July 14, 2012 at 12:20 AM
For those of you new to the area, Sykesville/ Eldersburg is probably safer now than it was forty years ago. I remember a gun battle at the corner of RT 32 and Liberty Rd between two motorcycle gangs. A cross burning by the Ku Klux Klan in Gamber and crazy drunk maniacs at the Eldersburg Inn every night. This too shall pass.
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