Reporting Derek Valcourt
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ)– A manhunt is underway in Howard County where a gunman stormed into a busy shopping center and shot two people. Twenty-four hours after it happened in Ellicott City, police are still searching for the shooter.
Derek Valcourt has new information on the man police are looking for.
This was an angry ex-boyfriend of one of the nail technicians at the Nail & Hair Care Spa on Richards Valley Road. Co-workers say she was already afraid of him and even had a protective order against him. Saturday night, her nightmare became reality.
This is Tuan Minh Pham, 35, who is now on the run. Howard County Police say that around 7 p.m. Saturday, he came armed with a gun to the salon where his ex-girlfriend and mother of his two children worked as a nail technician.
“We heard pop, pop, pop,” Ronald Hindman, a witness, said.
Employees at the nearby Cold Stone Creamery heard and saw some of the chaos. Police say Pham encountered a male friend of the nail technician who was waiting to pick her up in the parking lot after her shift. Witnesses say the two men began to fight in the parking lot, shots were fired and the struggle moved inside the salon.
“They ran by and then they went into the nail salon and then we heard more pop, pop, pops,” Hindman said. “And we’re looking over at the nail salon like, ‘What’s going on?’ And we see a guy come out and his whole shirt was covered in blood and he had a gun in his hand. And as soon as I’ve seen the gun, I was like, ‘Oh my God! He has a gun!’”
The nail technician was shot in the shoulder. Her male friend also shot.
“When I ran over, it was blood on the door and then I saw the victim lying on the ground. And as I was taking care of her, I saw a victim on the counter,” Gabe Coffelt, a witness, said.
Both victims are expected to survive. Loyal customers at the nail salon are shocked and call the isolated incident a shame.
“Because they are part of the community and they run a really wonderful business, and they are very kind. I would hate to have something like this affect them,” Marla Peoples, a customer at the salon, said.
The suspect was last seen leaving the crime scene in a 1998 tan or gold, four-door Honda Accord with the license plate number 2AK0291.
Howard County Police are offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to Pham’s arrest. You can contact them at 410-313-STOP.