Harford sheriffs arrest suspect in shooting of pizza delivery driver

·3 min read

Jun. 28—The Harford County Sheriff's Office has arrested a suspect in the nonfatal shooting of a pizza delivery driver in Joppa Saturday evening.

Patrol deputies from the southern precinct responded around 7:30 p.m. to the 300 block of Ellsworth Place for a reported shooting. When they arrived, they found a man identified as Da'Shawn Betterson, 24, of Edgewood, in a town house with multiple gunshot wounds to his lower body.

Betterson is a delivery driver for Papa John's Pizza and was completing a delivery at the home. As he was walking back to his vehicle, he was shot several times in the groin area, according to charging documents.

Deputies provided aid until personnel from the Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company arrived. Betterson was transported to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of nonlife-threatening injuries by Maryland State Police Medevac helicopter.

Detectives identified Malik Burns, 27, of Edgewood, as a suspect after searching for witnesses and digital evidence. Deputies were told there were multiple witnesses in the area at the time of the shooting, according to charging documents.

One witness took a photo of the suspect's vehicle, which they turned over to police, according to charging documents.

Investigators found that there was an earlier altercation between the suspect and the victim in the parking lot of the Papa John's Pizza in the 1000 block of Woodbridge Center Way in Edgewood, where Betterson works. One of the detectives went to the location and obtained video footage from a nearby store, according to charging documents.

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Witnesses at the store said Betterson got into an argument with a man and woman over a parking space, according to charging documents. During the argument, the man pulled out a large knife with a brass knuckles handle and threatened Betterson. The man and woman left in a blue Dodge minivan.

Deputies later found the vehicle and using the registration, identified the female involved in the altercation as Christina Lucas, according to charging documents. Lucas confirmed the argument was over a parking space and identified the man she was with as "Malik Brown," according to charging documents.

After further interviews, investigators confirmed that the person Lucas named was Burns, according to charging documents. Detectives interviewed Betterson at the hospital and Betterson identified Burns as the man he argued with over the parking space, according to charging documents.

Burns was located Sunday morning at Lucas' residence in the 1600 block of Candlewood Court in Edgewood, where he was arrested.

Burns was charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first-degree assault and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. He was transported to the Harford County Detention Center where he is being held without bail. Burns had a bail review hearing on Monday. Lucas has not been charged.

A manager at the pizza shop confirmed Monday that Betterson worked there but said the company had no comment. A hospital spokesperson said Monday that Betterson was not on the patient roster and could not disclose when he was discharged.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about this crime, or who may have video of the incident, is asked to call Det. Reynolds with the Harford County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division, at 443-409-3502.