(July 31, 2020) A Worcester County District Court judge found probable cause in the case of Colin K. Heckman, 21, of Milton, Pennsylvania, who was arrested last month after shooting a vehicle in downtown Ocean City and injuring one of its occupants. 

The incident occurred early in the morning on June 19, when Ocean City police officers heard gunfire in the Sixth Street and Washington Lane area. 

On arrival at the scene, police found a juvenile with gunshot wounds to his buttocks and arm.

Ocean City EMS personnel treated the victim and took him to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, where he was released later that day. 

Det. Carl Perry testified last Friday that police saw Heckman walk out a hotel, admit to the shooting and then state that the gun was in his hotel room.  

Police detained and arrested Heckman.   

Perry said Heckman told police he and a friend were staying at a hotel together and he had gone outside when he heard someone calling him from above. He added that it was the juvenile, who was floor above, and that he asked him for a beer. 

Heckman went back into his hotel unit to retrieve the beverage, but when the juvenile came to retrieve it, four to five young men came with him. 

Heckman and his friend allowed the party inside their room, Perry said, and one of the males took his friend’s wallet, asking to take a photo with it. 

Heckman told police that his friend and the male began to argue, which led to a struggle. 

The group of males fled, taking with them money, tennis shoes and Heckman’s car keys, Perry said. 

Following the confrontation, Heckman called his mother who told him to call police, but aside from looking up the police department’s phone number, Heckman didn’t make the call, Perry said.  

Instead, his friend staked out by his vehicle, while he canvassed the area. 

The two eventually spotted the males returning to the area and Heckman confronted them, demanding his keys. 

The males went back into their vehicle to flee the area and Heckman said he fired his weapon after allegedly seeing one of the males reach for something that he thought might be gun.

Heckman told police he had a concealed weapon permit. It was an out-of-state permit, which Maryland does not recognize.  

No weapon was found in the vehicle. 

A night auditor who witnessed the event told police that when the males went back into their vehicle, Heckman yelled, “Give me my keys back,” and then fired multiple times shouting, “How do you like that?” 

The defendant’s lead attorney Brian Clark and co-counsel Rich Brueckner argued that their client had fired his weapon to intimidate, rather than injure the males. 

The two said that because the bullet holes found in the vehicle were below the handle of the driver’s door, this indicated that Heckman never intended to harm the occupants.  

“He shot the guy,” Judge Daniel Mumford said. 

“He shot the vehicle,” Brueckner replied, arguing Heckman’s actions were self-defense. “What are you allowed to do when someone robs you and takes your car [keys]?” 

Additionally, Brueckner said it was natural for Heckman to fear for his safety in face of a group of males allegedly associated with gang activities. 

Mumford remained unconvinced, “I don’t agree, the evidence is overwhelming,” he said before stating probable cause had been found. 

Brueckner and Clark then asked Mumford to set a bond so that Heckman did not have to wait several months for his jury trial, which are scheduled to resume on Oct. 5. 

Brueckner described Heckman as the “white Steve Urkel” and as “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” and said the college student was not a threat or a flight risk. 

“He brought a gun to Ocean City,” the judge said, and then ordered Heckman to be held without bond.

Josh covers everything Ocean City government and crime. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a B.A. in French and Journalism.

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