Reporting Derek Valcourt
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ)—The manhunt for a gunman continues in Howard County after two people were shot at a busy shopping center this weekend. It happened at beauty salon in Ellicott City.
Derek Valcourt has more on the search for the suspect.
One of the victims worked here. She was afraid of her ex-boyfriend, and even had a protective order out against him. She’s in the hospital while he’s still on the run.
Gunfire erupted inside the Nail & Hair Care Spa in Ellicott City on Saturday night.
“It was frightening,” said Chrishna Lopez.
Lopez was one of the employees inside who ran for cover.
Police say the gunman, 35-year-old Tuan Minh Pham, shot the mother of his two children who worked as a nail technician. He’s also accused of shooting her male friend who was waiting to pick her up in the parking lot after her shift. Workers at nearby businesses saw some of the melee.
“I heard what I thought were firecrackers and then I look out and I see the guy running away, and there’s a gun in his hand,” said Gabe Coffelt, witness.
On Sunday night Howard County police found Pham’s getaway car. It was abandoned on Allen Lane in Columbia some two and half miles away from the crime scene.
“Everybody’s hoping and praying that he gets caught,” Lopez said.
Lopez credits some motorcycle riders at a neighboring restaurant with helping to treat the victims and restoring calm until police arrived.
“The community really helped,” Lopez said.
Though employees are still shaken, the salon business is getting back to normal with supportive customers saying they understand this was an isolated incident.
“I guess it could happen anyplace, but once again it’s not going to deter me from coming back,” said Veronica Ali, salon customer.
Anyone with information on Pham’s whereabouts is urged to call Howard County Police who are offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to his arrest. You can contact them at 410-313-STOP.
Once he’s arrested, Pham will face a long list of criminal charges, including first- and second-degree attempted murder.