EDITOR’S NOTE: Police identified the victim as 38-year-old Paul McCarter of Georgetown on Thursday and said he died earlier this week from his injuries.
The man arrested in an incident that left a Georgetown man with “minimal brain activity” had waited in a Royal Farms parking lot before following his victim inside, according to court documents, then striking him in the head with a baseball bat multiple times.
The 38-year-old victim, whom police identified late Thursday morning as Paul McCarter of Georgetown, remained in critical condition Monday, according to Delaware State Police, but later died Tuesday. On Friday night, police arrested and charged 24-year-old Kevin Shorter with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony in relation to the assault.
The incident occurred at about 9:50 p.m. Sept. 9, when both state and Georgetown police responded to a report of an assault at the 20579 Dupont Highway Royal Farms. They found McCarter on the floor of the convenience store, suffering from head and facial trauma, police said.
He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, then airlifted to Christiana Hospital, where he had “minimal brain activity” Sept. 9, court documents say. He suffered numerous head and facial fractures, as well as a brain bleed.
Video footage from Royal Farms that night showed Shorter, wearing a black balaclava, arriving at around 9 and waiting in the parking lot, according to court documents. While there, a male approached him and the two fist-bumped and talked for a short time. The male later confirmed Shorter’s identity to police, according to the warrant.
When the victim arrived, he went inside and entered the restroom, court documents say. Shorter followed him into the restroom, then both men came back out into the store and spoke briefly before Shorter produced a baseball bat from inside his pants, according to court documents. He struck the victim approximately nine times in the head and face — entering and exiting the store between strikes, documents state.
“The majority of those strikes occurred while the victim was on the ground,” Shorter’s warrant says.
Shorter was taken into custody two days later. Police were alerted to his location by a person who had been with the victim at the time of the attack, according to court documents, and spotted him at a Quality Inn. Police said in a news release they took Shorter into custody “in the Rehoboth Beach area,” but the exact location is redacted in court documents. He had a “baseball bat label in his pants leg” at the time, according to the warrant.
During a police interview, Shorter said he had purchased a baseball bat but denied being involved in the assault, court documents say. He said he was in Rehoboth Beach on Sept. 9, but a family member who lives in a different area is “contradicting” his claim, telling police that Shorter appeared on their security camera at about 11 that night, according to court documents.
Police also presented a photo lineup to two Royal Farms employees, court documents say. One of them indicated Shorter as the suspect, while the other said the suspect was not in the lineup, according to the warrant.
Shortly after he was taken into custody Friday night, Shorter was charged and jailed at Sussex Correctional Institution on $155,000 bail. A trial date has not yet been set.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Man has “minimal brain activity” after bat assault at Georgetown store