Mechanicsville Man Who Shot Up an Occupied House in Leonardtown Arrested After Almost Three Months on the Run

February 20, 2024
Charles Vernon Russell, 26, of Mechanicsville

Charles Vernon Russell, 26, of Mechanicsville

It took the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office two and a half months to finally arrest Charles Vernon Russell, 26, of Mechanicsville, and although we hear about shootings in St. Mary’s County almost every week, they are usually not in Leonardtown, which could be why the Sheriff’s Office never mentioned the Leonardtown shooting in any press releases or on their Facebook page.

On November 26, 2023, at approximately 1:50 a.m., deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Longmore Street in Leonardtown, for the report of a shooting. Deputies contacted the female homeowner who was at her residence when the shooting occurred.

Police on the scene located two .45 caliber shell casings in front of the residence and evidence that five bullets penetrated the front of the residence. Three bullets penetrated an exterior wall and entered a cupboard inside of the house. One bullet penetrated the exterior wall, entered the house, and came to rest near a washer and dryer. One bullet penetrated an exterior wall, entered the house through a shower wall and then penetrated through a bathroom door, where it struck an interior wall before it came to rest on the living room floor.

Police contacted six persons/victims who were at the residence when the shooting occurred, they said they heard the gunshots and dropped to the floor in fear of being struck by gunfire.

Police then spoke with a male victim, who said he was at Brüdergarten on Duke Street, in Leonardtown, earlier in the evening and was involved in an argument with the girlfriend of Charles Russell. Later in the evening while the male victim was speaking to Russell’s girlfriend on the phone and heard Russell bragging about his “forty” and also heard him state he was going to go to Longmore Street and shoot at it.

While standing on the front porch of the residence on Longmore Street, the male victim observed Russell’s vehicle, which he described as a tan Toyota Camry, drive along Longmore Street in front of the location. The victim advised Russell discharged a firearm multiple times at him. The victim sought cover behind a chair on the front porch, but after the first volley of gunshots ceased, he was able to retreat inside of the residence.

Police contacted Russell’s girlfriend and she confirmed being involved in an argument with the male victim and said, later in the evening while she was a passenger in Russell’s vehicle he drove on Longmore Street, displayed a firearm and discharged it approximately five times, he then drove to Route 5 and forcibly removed her from the vehicle before throwing her cell phone at her.

After contacting the Maryland Gun Center, it was determined that Charles Vernon Russell, 26, of Mechanicsville was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to an assault conviction on 4/8/2022 in the District Court of St. Mary’s County, Maryland

After the incident a deputy asked that a warrant be issued for Russell charging him with the following:

  • Attempted 1st Degree Murder
  • Attempted 2nd Murder
  • Assault First Degree
  • Reckless Endangerment
  • Reckless Endangerment from Car
  • Loaded Handgun on Person
  • Handgun on Person
  • Firearm – use/felony violent crime
  • Illegal Possession of Ammunition
  • Regulated Firearm – Illegal Possession
  • Firearm – Possession with Felony Conviction
  • Mal Destr Prop/Value – $1,000

Following his arrest, Russell was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center to await a bond hearing.

On Saturday, May 13th, 2023, at approximately 5:00 a.m., police responded to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, in Leonardtown, speak to a male victim that advised he was assaulted at a residence in Mechanicsville. The victim told police that he was visiting a female friend on Woodland Circle, in Mechanicsville and a man named Charles had been staring at him awkwardly. He said it was awkward because Charles was staring at him and neither of them knew each other previously. After some time had passed, he calmly asked Charles if they were good, at this point the victim said Charles struck him once in his face with a closed fist. The victim suffered a laceration to his lip along with redness and swelling around his mouth. The victim advised that he did not hit Charles back and contacted 911 at that time. The victim said Charles lives next door to where the assault occurred and that he wanted to press charges against Charles for the assault.

Police then spoke to a female who was at the house where the assault occurred and witnessed the incident. She advised that the victim did not provoke or start any altercation with Charles and that the victim calmly asked Charles if everything was okay, to which Charles struck him in the face once with a closed fist. She said that after Charles struck the victim, he walked home which is next door and that his full name was Charles Vernon Russell.

Russell pled guilty to disorderly conduct in October 2023, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail with all of them suspended and placed on unsupervised probation for 18 months.