Teen set for trial in Rockville Metro station shooting case

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Ben Giles

A Montgomery County teenager who authorities say helped a friend plot to shoot another teenager at the Rockville Metro station is due in court for trial Monday.

Richard Montgomery High School student Tavares Harris, 18, is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree and two counts of attempted second-degree murder for allegedly helping 17-year-old Kevin Nguyen plan the shooting of a then 16-year-old boy. The boy, Nguyen said, had threatened to rob him the day before the May 18 incident, according to authorities.

Both Harris and Nguyen, who faces the same charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder, have been charged as adults in the case.

A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled in October to have Harris' case heard as an adult -- Harris was 17 at the time of the shooting, meaning he was eligible to have his case heard in juvenile court, defense attorneys argued.

But a judge ruled that the severity of the crime warranted a trial as an adult.

"I'm just not convinced that it would be in the interests of the public's safety to hand this case back to juvenile court," said Judge Mary Beth McCormick, according to Southern Maryland Newspapers.

Nguyen's trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 17.

According to police accounts of the shooting, Nguyen angry after a fight with another teen shortly after school let out at Richard Montgomery High. During the fight the 16-year-old teen told Nguyen he was going to rob him, according to authorities.

That's when Nguyen enlisted Harris' help to retaliate, according to police. The two teens met at the Rockville Metro station on May 18, the day after the fight.

Harris brought a gun in a bag to the Metro, according to media reports.

When Nguyen and Harris confronted the other teen at the Metro station at about 2:40 p.m., Nguyen opened fire, hitting the 16-year-old multiple times and hitting an 18-year-old woman, a bystander later found near an exit at the east side of the Metro station, according to authorities.

Both suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the shooting.

Nguyen and Harris were picked up within minutes by police responding to the Metro station. Police quickly discovered that the shooting wasn't random.

At the time of their arrests, authorities reported that both teens were gang members, though it was unclear what, if anything, that had to do with the shooting.

bgiles@washingtonexaminer.com

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Ben Giles

Staff Writer - Crime Beat
The Washington Examiner