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Family ‘thankful to God’ UMd. student survived shooting

Neal Oa (Courtesy of Oa\'s family)

URBANA — An Urbana man is thankful his stepson was not seriously injured during a College Park shooting that left two people dead.

Chris Merz said his stepson, Neal Oa, is at home, recuperating from a gunshot wound to the leg. Oa, a junior at the University of Maryland, survived an attack at a house off- campus where he and his roommates lived in which one roommate killed another and then took his own life.

“We are thankful to God for looking out for him,” Merz said. “It’s a miracle he survived.”

Authorities said the man who shot Oa was his roommate, who killed a third housemate from Silver Spring before committing suicide.

Prince George’s County police identified the gunman as Dayvon Maurice Green, 23, of College Park, an engineering student. He lived in the house with Oa and Stephen Alex Rane.

Rane, 22, died after being shot outside the house. Oa was treated at a hospital Tuesday and released, his family said.

“We feel really bad for the other families,” Merz said.

The incident began before 1 a.m. when two of Green’s roommates saw that he had been setting fires inside and outside the house. The three had begun putting out the fires when one of the roommates saw Green pull a handgun from his waistband. Oa fled but was shot as he ran down the street.

Green’s family told investigators that he had been suffering from a mental illness for at least a year and had been prescribed medication, police spokeswoman Julie Parker said. Neither Parker nor University of Maryland President Wallace Loh had any information on whether the university had been made aware of Green’s medical history.

Police found a 9 mm handgun next to Green’s body in the backyard of the house. He also had a bag of weapons, including a baseball bat, a machete and a semi-automatic handgun.

Parker said the handgun was bought legally in Baltimore County last year. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was investigating the purchase of the semi-automatic weapon, Parker said.

Green, who obtained his undergraduate degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, did not leave a suicide note, Parker said.

He had been a NASA student ambassador at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.

Rane was in his final semester with a double major in English and linguistics, according to a statement from William A. Cohen, chairman of the university’s English department. Rane often made the dean’s list.

Staff writer Pete McCarthy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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