Charles E. Smith, former Hoya, NBA player, shot in Bowie; drugs found in home

UPDATE 6:26 p.m., Oct. 22: Investigators responding to the shooting Thursday of a former Georgetown University basketball star discovered a large amount of illegal drugs in his home, Prince George's County police said.


Duke's Quin Snyder left, goes high as Charles Smith of Georgetown goes for the shot in the first half of their NCAA East Regional final at East Rutherford, N.J., Sunday, March 26, 1989. (AP Photo/Bill Kostrun) (Photo: Associated Press)

A gunman opened fire on Charles E. Smith IV in a Bowie home on Thursday afternoon. One neighbor spoke exclusively to ABC 7's Julie Parker.

"I heard gunshots, so I looked out the window," the neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, recalled. "I see a guy, had a gun in his hand, running away from Smitty's house.

"There were three (shots) simultaneously," the man added. "It was like boom, boom, boom."

"I hear Smitty say, you know, 'Are you kidding me? You shot me!'" the neighbor recalled. "I see the guy running away and I come downstairs and call 911."

"I was shaking. I literally -- my hand would not stop shaking for a like an hour," he added.

Smitty is Smith's nickname. The former Hoya and Boston Celtics was critically wounded, police said.

Detectives returned to the home on Landsdale Hope Way before dawn Friday armed with a search warrant. They say they found massive amounts of cocaine and evidence of gambling operation.

The news caught Smith's neighbor by surprise.

"I saw people come through, in and out, but he used to be a former athlete. He's going to have friends," the man said. "You never know who your neighbor really is, even though you hang out with them."

Smith has been a part-time bartender at My Place sports bar in Mitchellville for three years. His manager described him as happy-go-lucky and very popular with patrons.

Police say Smith and his shooter struggled, and it's unclear if the suspect was shot as well.

"There was a blood trail leading outside the home as well as one inside the home," said Lt. Tammy Sparkman, a Prince George's County police spokesman.

Police have a lot of questions for Smith, but they'll have to wait. He's recovering from surgery, and listed in critical-but-stable condition, police said.

Investigators say they expect a quick closure in the case.


Law enforcement sources have identified the man shot in Bowie Thursday  as Charles E. Smith IV, a one-time Georgetown University basketball star and former NBA player.

The sources said the shooting could have stemmed from a gambling debt.

Police were called to a home in the 13200 block of Landsdale Hope Way about 12:20 p.m. for the report of a shooting. Investigators scoured the neighborhood for the shooter, who was reported to be wearing a red hat and armed with a handgun, according to witnesses.

"Last word that we received is that the suspect fled on foot and this might have been the point of travel so our investigators are taking every step they can to investigate the crime," said Cpl. Larry Johnson, Prince George's County police spokesman.

Smith's wounds are not considered life-threatening, the sources said. He remains hospitalized.

Smith served time in prison for vehicular manslaughter after running down two Boston University students in 1991.

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