Marydel man arrested in Hartly shooting incident

HARTLY — State troopers arrested a Marydel man for multiple counts of reckless endangering and aggravated menacing on Saturday after a shooting investigation near Hartly.

Michael J. Rhinehardt

Police spokesman Sgt. Richard Bratz said the incident occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. as troopers responded to a residence on Myers Drive, Hartly, for a shooting incident. The investigation determined the residence was occupied by roommates and friends (four adults and one juvenile) who were sitting in the living room. An altercation was initiated by Michael J. Rhinehardt, 20, before he grabbed a firearm and fired multiple shots within the residence.

Sgt. Bratz said that during the incident, Mr. Rhinehardt smelled of alcoholic beverages and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. His girlfriend confronted him and he became upset with her. Mr. Rhinehardt then became even angrier after an altercation with other people in the residence when he demanded them to leave even though he does not live there.

Police said Mr. Rhinehardt then exited the bedroom and was holding a firearm, pointing it at those in the house. He then fired multiple rounds which struck the floor and wall of the residence. One of the victims wrestled with Mr. Rhinehardt over the firearm and an additional round was fired during the scuffle. One of the victims was able to obtain possession of the handgun and struck Mr. Rhinehardt in the head and face.

Sgt. Bratz said after being pulled away from each other, the weapon was thrown into a wooded line adjacent to the property and collected by troopers. Mr. Rhinehardt then exited the residence and obtained an ax and swung it at two of the victims at the residence who then fled from the residence. Those who fled were later contacted by patrol units and returned to the scene.

A family member responded to the scene and transported Mr. Rhinehardt to a local area hospital. None of the other people in the residence were injured during the incident.

After being treated and cleared from the hospital, Mr. Rhinehardt was transported to Troop 3, where he was processed and charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, five counts of felony reckless endangering 1st degree and five counts of felony aggravated menacing. He was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution in default of an $80,000 secured bond.