SALISBURY, Md. -- DaVondale M. Peters was an aspiring minister who preached the Gospel at Methodist churches across this quiet town. He didn't have a lot of possessions, his family said, so when he bought a shiny maroon Chevrolet Suburban a few months ago, it became a particular source of pride.
"He loved that truck. It was his," his sister-in-law Veronica Scarborough said from the modest, well-kept home he shared with his wife and her four children. "It was the first thing in his life he bought that he could say was his own."
Peters, 28, known to friends as Pete, met his fate behind the wheel of that SUV this week after he dropped off his 4-year-old stepdaughter, Lynia, at preschool.
Police say he was killed by Allison Lamont Norman, 22, a man with a history of drug-trafficking and weapons convictions who went on a shooting rampage Thursday morning after he, too, took his girlfriend's daughter to a bus stop in Delaware. The spree -- which started in Laurel, Del., and ended 14 miles away in Salisbury on Maryland's Eastern Shore -- left two people dead and four wounded. According to police, it is likely that the only thing the victims had in common was being unlucky enough to cross Norman's path.
The gunman wore body armor and fired more than 30 rounds from his semiautomatic handgun, stopping at least once to reload. Norman was captured after breaking into a Salisbury townhouse and attempting to flee on foot, police said.
Yesterday, Norman was ordered held without bond after a profanity-laced hearing in Wicomico County District Court, during which he threatened the judge, prosecutor, sheriff's deputies and his own public defender.
Norman babbled and muttered for the duration of his 20-minute, morning arraignment before Judge R. Scott Davis.
"Pop, pop, pop, pop -- that's how I popped them, just like that," Norman said in court. At another point, however, he said, "I don't hurt no [expletive] unless they hurt me first."
In one of his few profanity-free utterances, he said, "Sometimes I sit and look at life from a different angle."
In addition to threatening the judge and others, Norman repeatedly tried to lurch out of his seat, only to be pushed back down by burly deputies.
Norman was charged with first-degree murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime, offenses that could result in the death penalty if he is convicted.
In Delaware yesterday, state police filed separate charges against him, including first-degree murder.
The rampage began shortly after 8 a.m. About that time, Norman's stepfather, James Pitts, was attending a deployment ceremony just before shipping out for Iraq with the Delaware Army National Guard, a Guard spokesman said.
Norman's brother, Shane J. DeShields, is serving a life sentence after being convicted last year of first-degree murder in connection with a botched drug robbery of two teenagers. The brothers were raised in Seaford, Del., according to family friend Teresa Palmer of Bridgeville, Del., who knew them as boys.