OC Shooting Suspect Sentenced To 30 Years

SNOW HILL—A  suspect convicted of first-degree assault and other charges for his role in a shooting incident at a downtown hotel in June 2021 was sentenced last week to a combined 30 years in prison.

Antonio Epps, now 28, of District Heights, Md., was charged initially with attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and numerous other charges for shooting a male victim who had fallen through the sunroof of a vehicle he was occupying on June 13, 2021. In April, Epps was found guilty of first-degree assault and numerous other counts and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

Back in court on Friday for sentencing, Epps received 25 years for the first-degree assault conviction and 15 years for the possession of a firearm with a felony conviction. All but five years of the possession of a firearm with a felony conviction were suspended, netting Epps a total sentence of 30 years. He quickly appealed the sentence to the state’s Court of Special Appeals.

A second suspect in the case, Jameal McLeod, 28, of Capital Heights, in January pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact for his role in the incident. McLeod was sentenced to five years, all but 151 days of which were then suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation for three years upon his release.

Around 2:50 a.m. on June 13, 2021, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a downtown hotel for a reported shooting incident. Upon the officers’ arrival, witnesses advised both the suspects and the victim had left the scene, according to police reports. The victim, a 21-year-old male from Reisterstown, Md., was located a short time later at the Ocean City Fire Department headquarters at 15th Street. Ocean City EMS treated the victim for two gunshot wounds and transported him to TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital.

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The investigation revealed the suspects’ vehicle was parked in the hotel parking lot. The victim, believing the vehicle was unoccupied, walked on top of the vehicle and fell through the sunroof. The occupants of the vehicle got out and confronted the victim. During the confrontation, one of the vehicle’s occupants, later identified as Epps, shot the victim two times. The suspects then fled the scene.

OCPD officers broadcasted a description of the vehicle and the suspects to allied law enforcement agencies in the area. Berlin Police Department officers located the suspect’s vehicle at a convenience store on Route 50 near Stephen Decatur High School. The Berlin Police Department, with assistance from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police, initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle. During the stop, a loaded semi-automatic handgun, along with a loaded, large-capacity drum-style magazine was recovered.

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.