Douglas Edward Kuhn is the Maryland man accused of firing a shotgun at two Trump supporters who honked at him as they drove past his home. The confrontation happened on October 17 in Kingsville, a small community in Baltimore County.
Bradley Lang and his father, Neal Houk, were driving with several large pro-Trump signs in their pickup truck. Kuhn, who has pro-Biden signs in his yard, was putting up a Black Lives Matter sign when Lang and Houk honked several times, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Lang wrote on Facebook that the honk was meant as a “friendly” gesture and that he and his father were shocked when Kuhn aimed a shotgun at them. Police said no one was injured and that the truck was not damaged, either.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lang Claimed Kuhn Ran Toward the Fence & Aimed the Shotgun Directly at the Vehicle After They Honked
Police responded to the 1100 block of Cedar Lane in Kingsville around 2:30 p.m. on October 17 “for a call of an assault,” according to a news release. The callers, later identified as Lang and Houk, told officers they had honked their horn multiple times at a man who was putting up a political sign on his property. They claimed the man then “picked up a shotgun and discharged it as they drove by.”
The official police statement is light on specifics but Lang and Houk provided more details on social media and in interviews with local news outlets. Lang explained on Facebook that he and his father were driving home after building a wooden frame that would allow Houk to display large signs in the bed of his truck. Video of the truck shared by WBAL-TV shows at least four pro-Trump signs along with a blue line American flag that is meant to demonstrate support for law enforcement. Lang is a member of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, according to his Facebook page.
Lang wrote that he and his father passed by a property that had pro-Biden signs on display. Lang said a man, later identified as Kuhn, was “tending to one of these signs” as he and Houk drove past. The Baltimore Sun and WJZ-TV reported Kuhn had been putting up a Black Lives Matter sign at the time.
They honked at Kuhn several times but did not slow down as they drove past, Lang explained on Facebook. Lang claimed Kuhn responded by grabbing a shotgun that had been resting on the ground near him, ran toward the fence and aimed the weapon at the passing truck. Lang wrote, “We were in shock that anyone would point a gun at a moving vehicle with two people in it, as we looked directly down the barrel.” Lang said they heard the shotgun go off after they had driven about 100 feet away. Police said the truck was not hit and the two men were not injured.
According to WBAL-TV, Kuhn told police he had a shovel in his hand, not a shotgun. The Baltimore Sun also reported that before he was formally arrested, Kuhn told investigators he was “not aware of any such incident” when he was asked about Lang and Houk’s allegations.
2. Lang & Houk Insisted the Honk Had Been a ‘Neighborly’ Gesture
Lang and Houk have insisted they did not have any ill intentions when they honked at Kuhn. Lang told WBAL-TV that Kingsville is a “friendly area” where “everyone honks at each other” and that the honking had been meant as a “neighborly act.”
Houk added, “I would never think — especially in Kingsville — that anyone would be violent about this situation. We all play nice here. It is America.” According to CBS, Houk acknowledged that he did not personally know Kuhn and had never seen him prior to October 17.
Neighbors expressed different opinions about what had happened. CBS Baltimore spoke with a man who shared only his first name, Todd. He told the TV station that although he did not see the confrontation, “we heard it and it was indistinguishable that it was a shotgun.”
A second neighbor, Steve Schulte, told the NBC affiliate he didn’t believe Kuhn had fired a shot and theorized the sound could have been a firecracker. In a filmed conversation, Houk told Schulte that Kuhn had aimed the shotgun directly at him and his son. Schulte responded, “Well, then how did he miss” and chuckled. Houk replied, “Because he’s a Democrat.”
3. Neighbors Said Several of Kuhn’s Yard Signs Had Been Torn Down or Stolen in Recent Weeks
Kuhn had been having problems with people vandalizing the signs in his yard, according to neighbors who spoke with FOX45 News. Neighbor David Franz told the outlet that Kuhn’s Black Lives Matter and at least one of the Biden-Harris 2020 signs appeared to have been torn down.
The neighbor identified only as Todd by CBS Baltimore also said Kuhn’s signs had been stolen but expressed disappointment that political tension would escalate to violence. He commented, “For someone to take it that far, you gotta be filled with a lot of rage to go out and put a sign up and carry a 12-gauge with you.”
4. Kuhn Faces Assault & Reckless Endangerment Charges
Kuhn was arrested and booked into the Baltimore County Detention Center on October 18, according to a national database of inmate records. Online records with the District Court of Maryland show Kuhn faces the following charges:
- Two counts of first-degree assault
- Two counts of second-degree assault
- Two counts of reckless endangerment
- Use of a firearm to commit a felony
Court records indicate Kuhn was assigned a public defender to represent him. Baltimore County District Court Judge Philip Tirabassi ordered Kuhn held without bond. However, as the Baltimore Sun reported, the judge will allow Kuhn to remain confined at his home rather than behind bars. He was also ordered to stay away from Lang and Houk.
5. Property Records Show Kuhn Moved to Kingsville in April 2019
Kuhn is relatively new to Kingsville. Property records show Kuhn purchased his home on Cedar Lane for $675,000 in April 2019. A search of online records suggests he may have relocated from Silver Spring in Montgomery County; two vehicles registered to his name have a Silver Spring address.
Neighbor David Franz told Fox 45 News that after Kuhn moved to the Kingsville area, he never had a problem with Kuhn’s political signs. “I never asked what his political affiliations were and I really don’t care,” Franz told the TV station. “You’re entitled to put up whatever you want on your property.”
Kuhn is a registered Democrat. The Maryland State Board of Elections shows Kuhn registered to vote in Baltimore County in August 2019.