By Guy Leonard, County Times
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Sept. 25, 2008)—A deputy with the St. Marys County Sheriffs Office has been placed on restricted duty after it was discovered that a weapon registered to him was allegedly in the possession of a convicted felon charged with shooting at a group of hunters last Dec. 29th.
Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron on Monday confirmed the restricted duty status of Deputy First Class Randall Wood, and that Wood remained employed with the agency while an internal administrative investigation was underway.
Wood has also served on the sheriffs office tactical team, but has been removed from those duties pending the outcome of the investigation.
Wood, who is a member of the United States Navy Reserve, was recently called up to serve in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S. Governments official names for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively, according to a recent sheriffs office press release. Wood holds the rank of Gunners Mate Second Class and is attached to Naval Special Warfare Group 2, based in Little Creek, Va.
Wood left Sept. 12 for a training period to prepare for a years deployment overseas.
The original suspect in the case, Terry Clarke, who is also the co-owner of the Tiki Bar on Solomons Island, was charged with 41 criminal counts for using an AR-15 Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle to shoot at hunters who were shooting at waterfowl near his home on Johnson Pond Lane in Leonardtown.
Clarke, who carries a drug conviction on his record from 1986, is not allowed to possess weapons as a convicted felon.
After the hunters had shot several waterfowl, charging documents stated, they waded into the water to retrieve them. It was then that Clarke was alleged to have appeared on the shoreline and began firing at them.
Victims alleged in the charging documents that Clarke fired at them 25 to 30 times and that the rounds impacted some 30 to 40 yards away from where they were.
Charging documents went on to state that when deputies contacted Clarke about the incident, Clarke said he was in possession of the AR-15 and had fired several rounds into the ground trying to scare the ducks.
Police went on to seize multiple guns from Clarkes home, one of which allegedly belonged to Wood.
States Attorney Richard Fritz would not comment on whether any action would be taken against Wood in the shooting case since the case had yet to go to trial.
The Terry Clarke case is still pending and Wood is part of that case, Fritz said. Whether hes a witness for the Clarke case depends on whether it goes to trial.
St. Mary's Deputies Being Deployed to Iraq, Sept. 24, 2008