MURDER USA: Night of Horror on Bensville Road, Mark Hughes shot and killed in-laws, wounded his child, fled in victim’s car and went out in a blaze of glory at his own hand in crash on Port Tobacco Road.
POMFRET, MD. – Out of nowhere, a violent scene of murder closed the long day on August 2, 2019, in a week where most of America was taking a night out for crime to make communities safer, an Indian Head man killed his wife’s parents at a residence on Bensville Road in Pomfret, Md.
The drama began to unfold when the suspect killed his in-laws in the front yard of their home and when his sister-in-law, unknowing of that event, drove up to the home, located at 6550 Bensville Road, the killer turned around and blasted away with his gun at her and her car.
Police identified the suspect as Mark McKinley Hughes Jr., 42, of Indian Head, who went to the residence and shot and killed Vickie Danita Pickeral, 54, and Gregory Bruce Pickeral, 53, who are his in-laws and the grandparents of his children.
In her vehicle was the suspect’s son, an eleven-year-old boy, who was hit by one of his father’s bullets as he sprayed gunfire at the vehicle. The child fled into nearby woods and came out on a different road where passersby picked him up and took him to the Dash In, a nearby convenience store on U.S. Rt. 301, where EMTs and police were called, and the boy was airlifted to a trauma center with a gunshot wound to his leg.
The sister-in-law was injured but not hit by a bullet.
Police say that the actions of the raging killer had nothing to do with the Huntt’s Tavern, located next door to the victim’s home.
The killer then stole a vehicle owned by the victims and fled to the intersection of Durham Church Road and Port Tobacco Road where he crashed and was found dead inside the wreck of what police believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Hughes, of 6915 Rison Drive, Indian Head, Md., had no criminal record and went through a foreclosure in 2014.
The Pickerals lived in their comfortable home in a peaceful country setting for about nineteen years, according to land records. Gregory Pickeral was a partner in a flooring business located in Waldorf and the family was typical of the bedrock of the Charles County community.