The stepfather of a University of Maryland student wounded by a housemate said Wednesday that quick action may have saved his stepson's life.
Christian Merz's stepson, 22-year-old Neal Oa, was shot in the leg early Tuesday morning while running from his housemate, Dayvon Green, Merz said.
Police believe Green set several small fires in the basement and backyard of his rented house, and then shot and killed another housemate, Stephen Alex Rane, before fatally shooting himself.
When the fires began, the housemates went outside and Rane suggested they get water to put out the fires, Merz told News4’s Pat Collins. But Oa saw Green pull a gun from his waistband, and immediately took off running. He was able to get to a neighbor's house.
Oa is now recovering with his family. He plans to return to school, his stepfather said.
Merz said his stepson had known his housemates only since last summer. He said Oa considered Green to be "pretty smart" but "a little different."
The housemates knew Green had a gun, but Merz said they weren't bothered by it because he was older and some of their other roommates had military experience, Collins reports.
The men's two other housemates were weren't present the night of the shooting; a third is in the Air Force and was away on duty.
Police say Green's family told investigators that Green had been prescribed medication for a mental illness.
Merz said his stepson was lucky. His family has suffered but that the families of Green and Rane are suffering more, he said.