(SALISBURY, MD) – After almost striking a trooper on patrol and a subsequent foot pursuit during which a trooper fired at, but did not hit, a suspect he thought was reaching for a gun, two juvenile car theft suspects are under arrest this morning in Wicomico County.
The male suspects are 16 and 17 years old and are both from Salisbury, Md. They are currently being charged as juveniles and therefore are not being identified. Neither was injured during the incident.
The preliminary investigation by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit indicates that just after 12:00 a.m. today, a Maryland state trooper from the Salisbury Barrack was patrolling northbound on Rt. 12 when a southbound 2009 Chevrolet Equinox crossed the centerline and veered toward him, almost striking his patrol car. The trooper turned around, activated his emergency equipment and attempted to stop the vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and the trooper reported to the barrack that he was in pursuit. A check of the vehicle’s tag number by the barrack indicated the tag was stolen. Two other troopers heard the pursuing trooper report he was heading in the direction of Washington Street and they attempted to intercept the vehicle there.
When they arrived in the area, the two troopers saw two individuals, later identified as the suspects, fleeing on foot. They gave commands to stop which were ignored and a foot pursuit ensued through several backyards on Washington Street.
According to the preliminary investigation, one of the troopers pursuing one of the suspects saw him reach to the area of his waistband as he was running. Believing the suspect may have been reaching for a gun, the trooper fired one shot from his department-issued pistol. The suspect was not hit and surrendered.
The second suspect was apprehended by Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office deputies a short distance away. He was taken into custody without further incident.
While the suspects were being processed, relatives of one of them contacted the barrack and reported their wallets and cash had been taken from their vehicle. The suspect had been at their home earlier in the night.
Investigators have confirmed the registration plate was stolen in Cambridge several days ago. They confirmed the Chevrolet Equinox was reported stolen to the Salisbury Police Department on September 16th.
Maryland State Police crime scene technicians have processed the scene. A gun has not been recovered. Technicians did recover a cell phone and a bag of suspected marijuana.
The thefts are being investigated by troopers and criminal investigators from the Salisbury Barrack.
The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is investigating the trooper-involved shooting. The Maryland State Police Internal Affairs Unit will also be conducting an investigation, as is procedure. The trooper involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave, which is also State Police procedure.
The investigation is continuing.