Man Dies in Theater After Assailant Opens Fire

By Hamil R. Harris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 18, 2006

A 62-year-old Pikesville medical supplies salesman was shot to death Thursday night inside a movie theater northwest of Baltimore by a stranger who then walked to the lobby, placed his gun on the counter and waited for police.

The victim, Paul Schrum, went to Loews Valley Center in Owings Mills to see "X-Men: The Last Stand." Baltimore County police said that about 8:30 p.m., 24-year-old Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar stood in the packed theater and "started firing as people were watching the movie." Schrum, who was sitting near Jabbar, was shot three times in the upper body with a .357 magnum handgun, police said. He died at the scene. No one else was hurt.

"This is a crushing blow to our family. We can't comprehend the loss," said Joe Lijek, Schrum's nephew. "He was a loving father, an incredible husband and wonderful man."

Schrum had gone to the theater while his wife, Rona, went to play mah-jongg with friends. The Schrums were married for 39 years and had two grown daughters and two grandchildren. His wife drove to the theater about 1:30 a.m. and found her husband's Chevrolet Malibu in the parking lot and police nearby.

County detectives said Jabbar did not know Schrum or anyone else in the theater. They knew of no motive for the shooting.

Jabbar's family lives in an enclave of million-dollar homes in the county, according to the Baltimore Sun. He graduated from Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City and was a 2005 graduate of Loyola College in Baltimore, where he majored in biology, the newspaper reported. Jabbar had a Web site that offered such services as writing term papers and technical reports, according to Washington Post research.

Jabbar has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson. He had no record of criminal charges, a check of court documents showed.

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