Two Men Arrested After Shooting Near Chuck E. Cheese

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By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 10, 2009; 6:10 PM

Police arrested two men in connection with a shootout outside a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, Montgomery County authorities said Monday, providing new information about a case that initially seemed to be a one-sided attack.

The gunshots erupted about 1:20 p.m. July 26 in the Briggs Chaney Shopping Plaza, about five miles north of the Beltway in Silver Spring. Police arrived to find a woman with a gunshot wound to her leg. They quickly learned that a second victim, identified as George E. Bleau, 31, who had been taken to a hospital by an acquaintance, had three gunshot wounds.

Piecing together information from two security camera videos and at least one eyewitness account, detectives think Bleau got into an argument with Deon E. Sherrod, 29. They were near other businesses as well, including an H&R Block and a Dollar Tree store, authorities said. Police said it was coincidence the men were so close to the Chuck E. Cheese, and neither had gone there to eat.

According to the police version of events, Bleau pulled out a gun. Sherrod ran, pulled out his own gun and ran back toward Bleau. The two appear to have "engaged in a gun battle at very close range," a Montgomery County police detective wrote in charging documents.

The female shooting victim was an innocent bystander, police said. Authorities said her injuries were not life-threatening.

Sherrod was arrested July 31 in Beltsville after a brief foot chase. Police used a stun gun on him when he resisted arrest, a department spokeswoman said. Sherrod had a gun in his waistband at the time, police added.

Sherrod was being held on no bond Monday. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, attempted manslaughter, reckless endangerment, first-degree assault, use of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, unlawful possession of a firearm, use of a handgun in a crime of violence and wearing/transporting a firearm, according to police.

Bleau, who was charged after being treated for the gunshot wounds, was being held Monday on $1 million bond. He was charged with reckless endangerment, first-degree assault, use of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, unlawful possession of a firearm and wearing/transporting a firearm, according to police.

Online court records do not identity an attorney for Sherrod. Peter Fayne, Bleau's attorney, couldn't immediately be reached Monday.

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