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Old June 1st, 2005 #57
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Boonutan comes in just under the wire at a skimpy 3


VIRGINIA BEACH — Some victims of a Saturday shooting spree at the Oceanfront were high school friends who gathered for the holiday weekend and got caught in a deadly rampage, according to a relative of one of the three people killed, and a friend of another.

Shooting broke out just before 3 a.m. Saturday in a first-floor condominium in the 300 block of 24th St., growing out of a confrontation between a man and the mother of his young daughter. The incident left three people dead and two others injured, one critically.

Marcus Valentino Garrett, 27, of the 500 block of King Arthur Drive, was arrested at 6:43 a.m. Saturday by a state trooper on Interstate 95. Garrett’s 2 -year-old daughter was in the car, and she was unharmed.

Garrett was initially charged in one of the killings, and was being held in the city jail without bail . It was unclear Monday whether he would face additional charges and, if so, when.

Background: Shooting leaves 3 dead


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Police identified the deceased as Rachel Scher, 24, of Virginia Beach, the mother of Garrett’s child; David Kusa, 25, of Columbia, S.C.; and Bryce Bauerband, 26, of Chicago.

Police on Monday did not return calls for updates on the injured people’s identities or conditions.

Brent Bauerband, Bryce Bauerband’s father, said his son, Kusa and two other men in the condominium that night attended high school together in Germany for five years and had reunited for Memorial Day weekend to catch up and celebrate milestones in their lives.

“They had stayed friends since their time together in Germany,” Bauerband said.

He said one of the friends lived in the condominium with a female roommate, who was friends with Rachel Scher.

Bauerband gave this account: The group went to a bar in Virginia Beach on Friday night and returned to the condominium around 2 a.m. Saturday. While they were talking, a man came in through a window and started shooting, he said.

“It was just this totally random domestic dispute,” Bauerband said. “They had never seen this guy before. It was like a drive-by. It wasn’t some wild party, where you’d think they must have done something for this guy to shoot at them. It’s just so random.”

Bryce Bauerband earned his master’s degree in sociology and statistics from Northern Illinois University two weeks ago, his father said. He had recently moved to Chicago, where he worked for an executive head hunting firm.

Kusa’s family referred questions to John Hoefer, an attorney in Columbia, S.C., who works at a law firm with Kusa’s wife.

“It’s just a tragedy,” Hoefer said. “He was an innocent bystander. He did not know these people.”

According to Hoefer, Kusa recently graduated from the University of South Carolina law school and was studying for the bar exam and mulling job offers. Kusa and his wife, Kristina, had been married three years, Hoefer said.

“He was well-liked, hard working and had a good sense of humor,” Hoefer said. “He would have made an excellent attorney. We’re all just very sa d.”

A man who answered the phone at the Scher residence Monday said the family was not ready to make a statement.

James Mason, a neighbor of the Scher family on Valleyside Court in Virginia Beach, said Rachel Scher was living at home. She had just graduated from Old Dominion University, he said, had attended and worked at Kempsville High School and was trying to get a job as a teacher.

Mason said his daughter occasionally baby-sat Rachel Scher’s and Marcus Garrett’s daughter.

“I assumed they were married, they were always together,” he said. “For all outside appearances, they seemed like a normal couple. He would set up a slide in the front yard for his daughter. This was just an unbelievable shock.”

WVEC-TV 13 contributed to this report.