- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
St. Mary’s detectives are continuing their investigation of last Thursday night’s fatal shooting of a man in a St. Inigoes mobile home, and sticking by their initial account that he was killed by one of two robbers who forced their way inside and got away in a car.
“That’s what the evidence suggests so far,” the commander of the St. Mary’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations said Monday of the circumstances in the death of 37-year-old Robert L. McDowney.
McDowney, the father of three children and the grandfather of a 2-year-old boy, moved in last October with a woman living at the trailer off Beachville Road, according to neighbors and family members. The neighbors said she showed up at their door Thursday night.
“The lady came running over to our house, telling us to call the police, that her boyfriend had just been shot,” a man said Friday outside the house. “She told us two guys came running in, ... demanding money and drugs.”
He added, “We walked over there to see if he was OK. And he was gone already.”
Detectives reported Friday that McDowney was shot as he struggled with the robbers, and that after one of them took out a handgun and fired it, the culprits fled in a silver Ford Fusion.
The neighbors said the car was parked in the trailer’s driveway for about a half an hour, and that it was there with its brake lights on and headlights off five minutes before the woman came over to the house, telling them that she had gone out her back door to run to them for help. By that time, the car was gone.
“I’m not going to comment on how long the vehicle was there,” detective Capt. Terry Black said this week.
The neighbors said they didn’t hear the sound of anyone breaking into the trailer, nor the sound of a gunshot.
St. Mary’s 911 dispatchers got a call from the neighbor’s house at 9:24 p.m. Thursday, prompting a response from police and a rescue squad crew. Black said that McDowney probably died “within moments of when we received the call.” He declined to say when investigators believe McDowney was shot.
McDowney visited his mother in Lexington Park earlier Thursday, and his older daughter and her 2-year-old boy had dinner with him at about 6:30 p.m. at the St. Inigoes residence, according to a family friend. Darlene “Dee Dee” McDowney said she started getting phone calls not long after 8 p.m. that something might have happened to her son.
“He would come and check on me every day, because I have cancer,” she said. “He talked to his children every day. He was kind-hearted.”
“If someone at the store asked him for a dollar, [Robert McDowney] would give them five,” according to the family friend, adding that McDowney recently had been doing odd jobs, working through a temporary-employment business and looking for a full-time job at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
Detectives requested that anyone with information about the case contact them at 301-475-4200, ext. 9105, call St. Mary’s Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333 or text tips to CRIMES (274637), entering TIP239 (847239) before the message.