QA Press Release Attempted Murder/Drive By


Incident:        Drive-by Shooting / Attempted Murder

Date:             October 12, 2011


Location:      112 Sawmill Lane Grasonville, MD

Victims:         Bruce Johnson of Grasonville MD

                     Geoffrey Newman of Grasonville MD


Suspects:     Vernel Roosevelt McFarland Jr. (36) of Grasonville MD

                     David Cornell Sorrell (24) of Camden-Wyoming DE

                     (Additional Arrests – See Narrative)


Charges:      Attempted Murder – First Degree

                    Attempted Murder – Second Degree

                    Assault-First Degree

                    Assault-Second Degree

                    Reckless Endangerment

                    Use of a Handgun in Commission of a Crime of Violence


Narrative:     Sheriff R. Gary Hofmann reports that on November 1, 2011 The Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff arrested Vernell McFarland Jr. and David Sorrell in connection with a drive-by shooting from which occurred on October 12, 2011.  Dfc. R. Boyles initiated a criminal investigation following a complaint of shots fired from a vehicle during the night of October 12, 2011 on Sawmill Lane in Grasonville, MD.  Investigation by Boyles revealed that David Sorrell was seen operating a Ford passenger car occupied by Vernell McFarland Jr. and two other passengers.  Witnesses reported that Vernell McFarland Jr. was observed discharging a handgun from the front passenger seat of the vehicle at the area Bruce Johnson and Geoffrey Newman were standing at the edge of Sawmill Lane. The suspects were spotted in a vehicle on Tuesday afternoon on Evans Avenue and a traffic stop was made. Based on the investigation and evidence, Vernell McFarland Jr and David Sorrell were placed under arrest.  Both subjects were transported to the Sheriff’s Headquarters for processing and later held at the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center without bail pending an Initial Appearance before a District Court Judge. 

            Investigation by Boyles also resulted in the issuance and execution of a search and seizure warrant for McFarland’s residence at 113 Forrest Rd. in Grasonville which was served on Tuesday at 1736 hours.  During the course of the execution of the search and seizure warrant Anna McFarland (65) of Grasonville MD attempted to assault D/Cpl. Stephen Stouffer with an eight inch knife. She was disarmed and while being placed under arrest assaulted Det. Amelia Lopez.  Mrs. McFarland was charged with Assault-First Degree, Second Degree and Reckless Endangerment upon D/Cpl. Stouffer and Assault-Second Degree upon Det. Lopez.  Vernell McFarland III (18) also of Grasonville was charged with Assault-Second Degree upon Cpl. Sean Hampton during the service of the search warrant.  Mrs. McFarland posted a $15K bond and was released. Vernell McFarland III was released on his personal recognizance by a District Court Commissioner. 

            Dfc. Boyles was assisted by the Criminal Investigations Unit of the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff.  This incident remains under investigation.  Sheriff Hofmann is asking that anyone with additional information about the October 12th shooting incident to contact Dfc. R. Boyles or D/Cpl. S. Stouffer at the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff.  The Sheriff’s Office phone number is (410) 758-0770.


Case Investigator:             Dfc. Robert Boyles

Assisted by:                    D/Cpl. Stephen Stouffer, Det. Amelia Lopez, the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff SWAT Team, the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff Resource Unit, the Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force and the Maryland State Police