(CENTREVILLE, MD) – A joint investigation is continuing into a police involved shooting last night that fatally wounded a suspect who had walked off from a state correctional facility before breaking into an area home, stealing a gun and knife and confronting police who were attempting to arrest him.
The deceased man is not being identified at this time because his family has not yet been notified. He was a 25-year-old man who was serving state prison time for assault at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Queen Anne’s County.
Just before 6:00 p.m. yesterday, Maryland State Police at the Centreville Barrack were called to the Eastern Correctional Institution on Flat Iron Square Road in Church Hill, Md., for a report of an inmate at the facility who had walked off. Troopers responded and learned the inmate was discovered missing from the pre-release security facility during a check by officers.
Shortly after 6:00 p.m., Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to respond to a home in the 600-block of Carvel Place Road in Centreville for a report of a breaking, entering and theft that had just been discovered. The homeowner told deputies he had just returned home and found that several items had been taken from his home including a loaded handgun and several magazines of ammunition, as well as a blue bag and other items.
After taking the report, deputies began a search for the burglary suspect. As they traveled south on Rt. 301 about one-half mile north of Rt. 305, they spotted a male carrying a blue bag just off the shoulder of the road. The preliminary investigation indicates deputies and state troopers confronted the man, who immediately began firing multiple shots at the officers with a handgun. Officers returned fire and the suspect, who apparently was not hit, began running through a soybean field toward a farm about one-half mile away. Officers reported that shots had been fired and called for additional assistance.
The owner of the farm heard the shots out on Rt. 301 and saw a man running through the bean field toward his home. He secured his family and told them to call 911, which they did. The farmer told investigators he then armed himself with a handgun and confronted the suspect as he came out of the bean field.
Moments later, an officer from the Centreville Police Department arrived at the farm and attempted to convince the suspect to surrender. The suspect repeatedly refused to surrender.
According to the preliminary investigation, the suspect repeatedly told the officer and the farmer he was not going back to jail and they would have to kill him. The suspect began backing down a dirt lane away from the officer, while the officer continued to try to convince him to surrender.
The suspect then reached behind him in a threatening manner as if he was trying to pull something from his waistband. In fear for his life, the officer fired his pistol and wounded the suspect.
EMS personnel were immediately summoned. Medics pronounced the suspect dead at the scene.
A search of the expansive area between Rt. 301 and the farm on Tanyard Road is continuing throughout the night by crime scene technicians from the State Police and investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and State Police. Investigators have recovered a handgun from the bean field and a knife from the area where the farmer confronted the suspect. Other items believed to have been stolen from the home have also been found in the area.
No police officers were injured during the exchange of gunfire. A cooperative investigation is being conducted by the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Centreville Police Department and the Maryland State Police.
Due to the police involved shooting occurring on Rt. 301, the southbound lanes of the highway had to be closed to traffic until the early morning hours of today. Traffic was diverted around the area by a State Highway Administration detour.