(ELKTON, MD) – A wanted Cecil County man was fatally wounded by a state trooper early this morning when he is believed to have assaulted the trooper following a vehicle and foot pursuit.
The deceased is identified as Anthony A. Hammond, Jr., 41, of the 300-block of Willow Drive, Elkton, Md. Hammond was pronounced dead at the scene.
The trooper involved is identified as Trooper First Class Michael Cox. TFC Cox is an eight-year veteran of the Maryland State Police and is assigned to road patrol duties at the North East Barrack.
The preliminary investigation indicates that TFC Cox was in uniform and on patrol in a marked vehicle shortly before 1:30 a.m. today in the area of Winchester Drive, near Elkton. The trooper saw a 2004 Dodge Durango, which matched the description of a vehicle he knew was driven Hammond, who he knew to be wanted on warrants.
The trooper began to follow the vehicle and the driver began to accelerate away even before the trooper activated emergency lights. The driver, later identified as Hammond, turned off the car lights and drove about a mile to the 300-block of Willow Drive, where he struck a parked car before jumping out and fleeing on foot. A female passenger in the car also fled on foot.
The trooper pursued Hammond on foot and saw him kick in the door of a residence in the townhouse community. Not knowing who lived in the home, the trooper followed Hammond into the home, while repeatedly giving verbal commands to surrender.
According to the preliminary investigation, when the trooper entered the home, Hammond turned and ran toward him. There is no indication that Hammond was carrying a weapon at that time. The trooper had drawn his weapon and the suspect attempted to disarm the trooper. The trooper was in fear for his life and fired his department issued Glock 22 .40 caliber pistol, striking Hammond in the upper torso. Emergency medical services units responded to the scene and pronounced Hammond dead.
State Police crime scene technicians and investigators processed the scene at the home after a search warrant was obtained. Investigators have learned Hammond had apparently been living at the address, which is the home of his sister and her family. Six other people were in the home at the time of the shooting. No one else was injured. A number of them told State Police investigators that they heard the trooper giving multiple verbal commands before the shooting.
Troopers have verified Hammond was wanted on eight warrants for criminal charges in Maryland and multiple warrants for criminal charges in Delaware. The Maryland charges include three failure to appear bench warrants, as well as warrants for theft, credit card offenses, attempting to elude police, and telephone misuse/harassment. Hammond was also driving on a revoked driver’s license.
The investigation into the trooper involved fatal shooting is being conducted by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit. The Maryland State Police Internal Affairs Unit is also conducting an investigation. Both investigations are procedure when a police involved shooting occurs. TFC Cox has been placed on routine administrative leave, which is also State Police policy when a trooper is involved in shooting.
State Police investigators have been in repeated contact with members of the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office regarding the ongoing investigation. When the investigation is complete it will be forwarded to the State’s Attorney’s Office for review.