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Traffic Stop Leads to Arrest of Man Who Shot into Townhouse, Three Others and Recovery of Handguns

Late Wednesday night, members of the Montgomery County Police 5th District Community Action Team arrested and charged a Gaithersburg resident with firing shots into an occupied townhouse on Demetrias Way in Germantown on earlier that morning.

Police arrested Joseph E. Pinto, 22, of the 900 block of Clopper Road in Gaithersburg, and three other men, on weapons charges after Pinto allegedly pointed a green laser which attached to a 9 mm handgun at the head of an undercover police officer in Germantown Thursday night.

Also arrested were two Germantown residents, Jordan Becraft, 20, of the 13300 block of Country Ridge Drive in Germantown, and Lynden S. Lawson, 19, of the 13300 block of Waterside Circle in Germantown. Also arrested was Damarco Morrow, 19, of the 1300 block of Missouri Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C. All three were arrested on with weapons and drug possession charges.

“These arrests are the results of outstanding police work by our DCAT patrol officers and our detectives,” 5th District Commander Capt. Mark Plazinski told Germantown Pulse. “To effect the arrest of a shooter hours after the crime, and get this guy off the streets was important for our community.”

Joseph Pinto had a busy 24 hours. Police believe it was Pinto who fired multiple shots into a townhouse in the 13500 block of Demetrias Way shortly before 9:45 am on Wednesday morning. MCPD detectives believe that he had been dropped off in the neighborhood and fired multiple shots into the townhouse. One of the rounds went through the upstairs bedroom of the female resident, and another when through the wall and the bed of her young son.

Detectives believe that Pinto had been shooting into the townhouse in retaliation for a previous disagreement he had with someone who lives in a different unit of the complex. However, Pinto fired into the wrong dwelling, one that was occupied by a family which is unconnected with Pinto or the ongoing dispute. Detectives believe that this incident is not at all related to the home invasion robbery which took place in the 13600 block of Demetrias Way eight days earlier on Tuesday, May 29.

“Thankfully, the woman who was in that house at the time of the shooting was on the first floor and not in her bedroom, and her son was not in his room, or either one of them could have been killed as this suspect fired rounds indiscriminately into a residence,” said Plazinski.

Witnesses told police that the shooter then fled the area in a white Toyota Scion driven by another suspect. Investigators recovered multiple 9mm shell casings from the area. Investigators also received photos from a resident who came forward with photos of the shooter and the getaway vehicle. Detectives distributed the vehicle information to all 5th District patrols.