University of Maryland shooting: Neal Oa miracle to be alive, relative says

The shooting happened at a home on 36th Street in College Park. Photo: John Gonzalez

The stepfather of the University of Maryland student who was shot but survived Tuesday's murder-suicide in College Park says it's a miracle that his son is still alive.{ }{ }

Maryland junior Neal Oa, 22, is home and recovering well. His stepfather says he even plans to get back to college park as soon as possible.

“We’re just thankful he's a alive,” says Oa’s stepfather Chris Merz. “We don't know how he survived it. It was just a miracle.”

Oa was shot in the leg by his housemate Dayvon Green during a bizarre rampage early Tuesday morning. Oa and roommate Stephen Rane were awakened by several small fires Green set in the back yard of their College Park home. When they went out together to douse the flames, Green opened fire.

“He saw the gun coming out of the kids pocket and just had a sense that something wasn't right as he turned to run,” Merz says. “That's when he got hit. He felt his leg and something was there and just decided, ‘I gotta go I gotta run.’”

As he ran, he heard more gunfire. Oa didn't know until much later that Green killed Rane before turning the gun on himself.

“He feels really bad for his roommate and his roommates family,” Merz says.

As for Green, police sources say he was a diagnosed schizophrenic who had gone off his medications. He had purchased two semiautomatic handguns including an Uzi like this and the 9mm he used against Rane and Oa. Merz says the housemates knew about one gun but not the mental illness.

“I know they were a little uncomfortable. There were things,” Merz says. “He was a little different but then you’re in a school of 38 thousand kids you’re gonna meet kids are different than you.”