ELDERSBURG, Md. (WJZ) — Quiet Carroll County is stunned by its second murder in a matter of weeks. A barrage of bullets was unleashed at an Eldersburg family restaurant with customers looking on.

Meghan McCorkell has new developments in the investigation.

State police say the shooter is now in custody, but not before he unleashed a hail of bullets that killed one man and injured another.

It’s a typical Friday night as customers go in and out of Harvest Inn family restaurant. It was a different scene early Friday morning when the parking lot became a crime scene.

“We’ve never had anything like this happen, really anything like this happen in Eldersburg,” Tony Trombetta, the owner of the restaurant, said.

Just after midnight, police say Jacob Bircher, 24, opened fire, killing David Garrett, 36, and injuring Gary Hale, 25.

One bullet went straight through the home next door.

Homeowner Harry Fischer says it went “through two bedrooms, through a door and then hit the opposite end of the house.”

Stephen Witte was driving by when the bullets started flying.

“Came back a little bit later and saw a body covered up and it was ridiculous,” he said.

Witnesses say they don’t know why Bircher pulled out a gun.

“There was no kind of scuffles here. There was no kind of confrontation between him and the person that was shot,” said Trombetta.

Even more worrisome is this is the second murder in Eldersburg in just the past four weeks.

On June 20, a man was stabbed to death by a co-worker behind Martin’s Grocery. An arrest was also made in that case.

“This very unusual for the Eldersburg area, for Carroll County, in fact. Carroll County has one of the lowest crime rates of any county in the state,” Greg Shipley, spokesman for the Maryland State Police, said.

“After something like this, it’s kind of nerve-wrecking,” Witte said.

Nerves are frayed in this town where violence is seldom seen.

After the shooting, Bircher fled the scene. Police were able to track him down and convince him to turn himself in.

Bircher has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and attempted murder.


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