3 Found Shot Dead in Home Near Hagerstown

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Three people who apparently were victims of gunshot wounds were found dead Thursday in a home near Hagerstown, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said.

    Deputies were called about 4:20 p.m. to the single-family home on Dawn Drive in the unincorporated community of Halfway, southwest of Hagerstown, said Deputy First Class Carly Hose.

    Two men and a woman were found dead, Hose said. She declined to say what prompted a caller to alert the sheriff's office.

    The deceased have been identified as 23-year-old Christopher Wachter, 47-year-old Kimberly Smith and 54-year-old William Smith, Jr.

    According to deputies, Wachter is the son of Kimberly and step-son of William Smith. They believe William Smith stabbed and shot the two others before turning to gun on himself.

    Two dogs were found alive in the single-story red brick home.

    The house is tucked into a leafy middle-class neighborhood, with a fenced yard decorated with hanging baskets of flowers. "It's an all-American neighborhood,'' Hose said.

    A neighbor across the street, Ron DeVore, said he didn't know the family well, but said the people who lived there were a man, a woman and their young adult son.

    "She seemed real nice,'' DeVore said of the woman.

    DeVore said he sometimes heard the man yelling at the other people in the home. "I couldn't believe that a man would talk to his family that way,'' DeVore said. "I mean, just holler and scream at them as loud as he could, like they were stupid and they couldn't do anything right.''

    The neighbor said the man had erected a wooden picket fence more than 6 feet tall after they moved in, less than 10 years ago, and was meticulous about his lawn.