Man used high-powered rifle to shoot up Springetts house party, police allege

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Rakain Potter

A Red Lion man is being held in York County Prison without bail, accused of firing multiple large-caliber rifle rounds into a Springettsbury Township home where teenagers and young adults were attending a party in 2018.

People both inside and outside the house had to hit the ground to avoid being shot, and some crawled to safety as bullets flew past them, according to charging documents.

Multiple shell casings recovered at the scene indicate the bullets flying past party-goers were 7.62x39 mm, documents state, meaning they came from a high-caliber rifle. Police previously said they suspected a high-power assault-style rifle was used.

Springettsbury Township Police, with help from state police, used a confidential informant to secretly record at least one phone call with the alleged shooter, Rakain Potter, who admitted he shot up the house while he was drunk and would have done it sober, too.

"Just lit the house up," Potter allegedly told the informant, according to charging documents.

Potter allegedly told the informant that the rifle he used had a 30-round magazine, police said.

"I put 17 (rounds) in that house, dog," Potter allegedly bragged, according to charging documents. "There was a god damn message to be sent, dog."

One victim told police the shooting went on continuously for 30 seconds, charging documents state.

'Serious threat': Potter, 24, of the 700 block of West Broadway, is  charged with five counts of attempted first-degree murder, 10 counts of first-degree felony aggravated assault, five counts of reckless endangerment, one third-degree felony count of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and two counts of criminal mischief.

Potter was denied bail when he was arraigned Nov. 22 in the county's central booking unit because he "poses (a) serious threat to society," according to court records.

It is unclear if he has retained a defense attorney.

Adam Dorm, a young man whose father was away on vacation, held parties in his home, located in the 200 block of Lynbrook Drive North, on June 21 and 22, 2018, and announced the June 22 party on social media sites, according to charging documents filed by Springettsbury Township Detective Christopher Ford.

Starting about 10 p.m. June 22, 2018, about 30 or 40 people showed up at the home — most uninvited — and Dorm started turning people away, police said.

A confrontation happened between Dorm and a group of about five people who showed up, and a friend of Dorm's, Da'Trail Albert, pulled out a BB pistol to break up the confrontation, after which the group of five people left, documents state.

After the encounter, threats were made online, including on social media sites, that someone would shoot up Dorm's house, police said.

Shortly before 2:30 a.m. June 23, Dorm's friend Brandon Day called Dorm to say someone had shot up the house, according to charging documents, which state Dorm had left the home.

Nearly shot: Day and another party-goer, William Van Dyke, were sitting in the living room of Dorm's home near the front picture window when they heard gunfire and glass in the house breaking, police said.

"Several bullets traveled through the front picture window, nearly striking Day and Van Dyke," documents state. "As the shooting continued, Van Dyke and Day crawled on their hands and knees toward the back of the house before exiting through a window to escape the gunfire."

Other people at the party had to hide or flee to safety as well, documents indicate.

Roberto Rojas was standing in the kitchen when the shooting started and he laid on the kitchen floor to prevent being shot, then fled the home through a back door, police said. Evidence at the scene showed Rojas was nearly shot, police said.

Sometime between 2:15 and 2:30 a.m., Richard Cole III drove to the block and parked, planning to attend the party, police said.

He saw an SUV pull up, then heard rapid gunfire and saw bullets hitting his vehicle, going through body panels and nearly striking him, charging documents state.

"Cole laid on the ground next to the driver's side of (his) vehicle to prevent being shot," documents state.

Hid behind porch pillars: Albert, who police said pulled the BB pistol earlier that night to break up a confrontation, was forced to lie on the front porch and hide behind porch pillars to avoid being shot, according to documents. He told police he saw a lighter-colored SUV pull up and someone shoot from inside it.

"Multiple projectiles struck the brick facade, front door, windows, and porch area of the residence where Albert was standing/lying down," documents state.

The five counts of attempted first-degree murder are for Day, Van Dyke, Rojas, Cole and Albert.

Police found eight bullet holes in the front of the home, and at least five of them entered the home and went through walls, cabinets and a refrigerator, police said.

"At least two bullets traveled completely through the residence and exited the east side (rear) of the residence where additional party goers were standing in the back yard," documents state. "Additionally, there are neighboring residences directly behind this location."

Detective Ford met with a confidential informant on Sept. 25, who said it was Potter who fired the gun — and that he did so after someone warned him, "don't do it, there is a person on the porch," documents allege.

Wiretap approved: That's when Ford, with help from state police Trooper Daniel Weldon, obtained a court order to tap phone calls between Potter and the confidential informant, police said.

During at least one conversation, Potter admitted being the shooter and bragged that the people with him got scared when the time came to carry out the drive-by, charging documents allege.

"I am telling you now, bro, look, if I ever go to court for any of that s—, bro, and someone bails me out, bro, I promise you right now all of them n—s are done," Potter said over the phone, according to documents. "Everyone is done, dog. Get me f—ed up once, bro. Watch. I am f—ing everyone's s— up, bro."

Potter also bragged that he shot "right past his head," meaning either Cole's or Albert's head, documents state.

"Oh, I would have done it when I was sober, bro. But when I am drunk, I don't give a f—," Potter allegedly said.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.