By: David M. Higgins II, Publisher

UPDATE June 25, 2020: During the course of the investigation by detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Nikko Muhammad Mason Coates, age 19 of Mechanicsville, was identified as the suspect responsible for the shooting.

Investigation determined on June 12, 2020 the victim confronted Coates about property that Coates had stolen. During the confrontation, Coates shot the victim in the abdomen and fled the scene. On June 24, 2020, Coates was located in Lexington Park and arrested. Coates was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and charged with the following:

  • Attempted 1st Degree Murder
  • Attempted 2nd Degree Murder
  • Armed Robbery
  • Robbery
  • Loaded Handgun in Vehicle
  • Handgun in Vehicle
  • Firearm Use/Violent Crime
  • Assault 1st Degree
  • Assault 2nd Degree
  • Theft

Coates remains incarcerated at the detention center on a no-bond status.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension 71953 or by email at

UPDATE JUNE 16, 2020:On June 12, 2020, at approximately 8:30 p.m., deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 23000 block of Sugar Maple Court in California, for the reported shooting.

A male victim, age 19 of Mechanicsville, was located on scene and determined to have sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The victim was transported via helicopter to an area trauma center for treatment.

Anyone in the area at the time of the shooting, or anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Daniel Sidorowicz at (301) 475-4200 extension
*78043 or by email at

Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text atip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637).

Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime
in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.

California, MD- The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue units are on the scene of a shooting in California, MD. A 19-year-old has been shot in the chest and has been transported by MEDEVAC to a trauma center as a Priority 1(Critically ill or injured person requiring immediate attention; unstable patients with a potentially life-threatening injury or illness).

The call for the shooting at the 23300 block of Sugar Maple Court of the Wildewood Community went out at approx. 8:32 p.m.

Expect police activity in the area, and detours as police search for a suspect.

This is a developing story.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...