Gun Fired In North Ocean City

OCEAN CITY — A Washington, D.C. man was arrested last week after allegedly firing a handgun in the direction of an uptown hotel.

Around 6:50 a.m. last Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) detective along with members of the Special Enforcement Unit and the Narcotics Unit responded to an uptown condo building to locate a suspect in reference to a possible shooting.

Officers met with condo employees, one of whom reported hearing a gunshot at roughly 4:30 a.m. Surveillance footage provided by cameras in the condo parking lot reportedly showed Cornell Holt, 28, of walking south in the direction of a nearby hotel.

The surveillance footage showed Holt retrieve a firearm from his right side, aim the firearm into the air and fire one shot in the direction of the hotel. OCPD officers located a .38 shell casing on the ground, according to police reports.

Officers reviewed further video surveillance from the hotel. At roughly 4:22 a.m., a Jeep Patriot, later found to be registered to Holt, entered the hotel parking lot. Holt could be observed in the footage walking from the hotel parking lot toward the condo building. About one minute later, condo surveillance footage showed Holt discharge the firearm in the parking lot as he was walking toward the hotel. Holt entered the lobby of the hotel about one minute later.

Through the investigation, it was learned the Jeep Patriot displayed a hotel-issued parking placard assigned to a room, which turned out to be registered to a known female associate of Holt. The vehicle was registered to Holt and there was evidence of marijuana when detectives looked inside, according to police reports.

Through the investigation, detectives learned the night auditor heard the gunshot, ran out of the lobby and hid in a back office, according to police reports.

At 10 a.m., officers set up around the room, the hotel lobby and the Jeep in the parking lot. At around 11:45 a.m., Holt reportedly exited the room. While Holt was walking, OCPD officers observed him carrying a green and white shoe box. When officers moved in to secure Holt, he reportedly put the shoe box on the ground. Holt was then detained in handcuffs, and an officer observed a large knife protruding from the suspect’s front pocket. The weapons turned out to be a fighting-style knife with built-in metal knuckles, according to police reports.

Officers searched Holt and his belongings. Inside the shoe box were a pair of worn Nike shoes and inside one of the shoes was a black handgun. The handgun was found to have one live round in it. In the other shoe, detectives located a magazine belonging to the handgun with two live rounds in it.

During a post-booking interview, Holt reportedly told detectives he had been at a nearby bar and returned to the hotel around 2 a.m. with his female friend. According to police reports, Holt told detectives he wanted to smoke “weed,” but did not want to smoke inside the hotel, so he exited the hotel and walked to the beach.

According to police reports, Holt claimed he located the black handgun on the ground near the beach access. He reportedly told police he did not know if the gun was real, so he checked the magazine and determined there were live rounds in the chamber.

Holt reportedly told police he then test-fired the gun and claimed he fired the handgun twice. He reportedly told police he did not fire the gun to harm anyone.

Holt was charged with carrying a loaded handgun on his person, carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, reckless endangerment and knowingly altering a firearm’s identification number. He was held initially without bond, but was released the following day after posting a $25,000 bond.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.