Ice Cream Man Gunned Down in Front of Children

A man approached an ice cream truck in Frederick, Maryland, and shot the driver to death as children and their parents waited for treats, witnesses said.

Brandon Brown, 22, was selling ice cream in the Lucas Village housing complex about 5 p.m. Saturday when he was approached by a man who was later identified as Larnell Tyran Lyles, court documents say.

Lyles, 27, asked Brown what kind of ice cream he sold from the Big Daddy's ice cream truck parked on the 400 block of Vermont Court, and Brown replied he had several types, a witness said.

Brown then stepped outside of the van to smoke a cigarette and came face-to-face with Lyles, the witness said. Lyles reportedly told children standing nearby to "watch it," pulled a revolver from his waistband and fired at Brown three times.

The ice cream truck driver died at the scene.

Resident Ronald Hall took his 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son to the truck when they heard its jingle.

"Next thing we know, we heard three or four bangs," he said. "Kids thought it was fireworks, so they started screaming and covering their ears."

Malikah Yacub's 7-year-old son was waiting in line for ice cream, too. The mother panicked when she heard gunshots.

"I'm screaming for my son and he finally came with his hands over his ears because he was that close to the gun," she said. "I'm very upset. In my 42 years, I'd never seen anything like that, so I can imagine a 7-year-old seeing that."

Lyles was identified through witness accounts and found in a home in Walkersville, Maryland about 4 a.m. Sunday. He was charged with first-degree murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. It wasn't immediately clear if Brown and Lyles knew each other.

Lt. Clark Pennington of the Frederick Police Department declined to comment on a motive.

Lyles' lawyer, Carl Somerlock, said at a bail hearing Monday that there was more to the story than prosecutors said.

"It would be pretty unbelievable that someone, without any provocation, would just shoot an ice cream man," Somerlock said.

In addition to being witnessed by several people, the incident was caught on surveillance video, Assistant State's Attorney Brett J. Jackson said in court. Lyles is shown on video approaching the van and reaching into his waistband, Jackson said. He stands at the side of the truck for several seconds and then backs away as children run from the area. Then, he runs out of view, Jackson said.

She said he is seen standing at the side of the ice cream truck for several seconds and then backing away as children run from the area. Then Lyles runs out of view.

Lyles was ordered held without bail. Additional charges may be pending.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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