OCEAN CITY — A Reading, Pa. man remains behind bars in the Worcester County Jail this week without bond after allegedly shooting two men during a verbal altercation that turned physical at a roadside motel pool last Saturday morning.
Around 2:15 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police were in the area of 18th Street and Coastal Highway when they heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the area of Kingfish Rd. OCPD officers responded to the area and located a male individual, whose name has not been released, who appeared to be the victim of a gunshot wound.
The investigation revealed the shooting victim and another unidentified male individual were in the pool at the Islander Motel on Philadelphia Ave. near 18th Street when they were engaged in a verbal exchange with a group walking by on the street. The verbal exchange escalated when the two individuals in the pool confronted the group on the street and an altercation occurred.
A male suspect, later identified as Elvn Jovany Mendez-Espada, 21, of Reading, produced a handgun and shot the two victims. After further investigation, OCPD officers determined the second victim had been shot through his clothing and was not injured, according to police reports. The injured victim was treated at the scene by Ocean City EMS and was later transported to PRMC for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Police immediately began searching the area for suspects and quickly found a suspect later identified as Carwin Duarte, 19, of Reading, near the shooting scene on Dolphin Drive. Mendez-Espada was then spotted hiding in shrubs on nearby Marlin Drive. He was later located in the water under a boat dock at a private residence on Marlin Drive. Mendez-Espada was taken into custody without further incident.
The investigation is ongoing. OCPD Forensic Services and the Ocean City Dive Team were assisting in the recovery of evidence, although it is uncertain if the weapon was recovered. Mendez-Espada has been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and one count of the use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime. Mendez-Espada appeared in court on Monday for a bail review and was ordered to be held without bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for July 26.
Duarte was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. He also appeared for a bail review hearing on Monday and was released after posting a $50,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is set for July 31.