Kent Co. Home Invasion Suspect Shot as He Attempts to Run Down Sheriff

ROCK HALL, Md. (March 31, 2011) — A home invasion suspect attempting to flee police in a stolen vehicle was wounded early this morning when he drove directly at the Kent County sheriff who was trying to block his route of escape.

The wounded suspect is currently under police guard at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He is in stable condition and is expected to survive. Two other suspects are in police custody in Kent County at this time. Charges against all three are pending.

The police officer involved in the shooting is identified as Kent County Sheriff John F. Price IV, a 31-year law enforcement veteran. Sheriff Price was not injured in the incident. Sheriff Price requested the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and the Internal Affairs Unit conduct criminal and administrative investigations into the police-involved shooting and the original crimes that preceded the pursuit.

The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly before 12:30 a.m. today, a 911 call was received from an adult resident in the 8300-block of Broadneck Road, Chestertown. The man reported armed suspects had broken into his family’s home and shots had been fired.

Kent County deputies responded to the scene and saw a male suspect fleeing through a garage and out the back of the house. Deputies pursued the suspect on foot through a field, but were unable to apprehend him. Officers from the Rock Hall and Chestertown police departments responded to the scene to assist deputies with the search.

It was learned from the homeowner, Roger Brown, 58, and from evidence at the scene, that at least three male suspects had attempted to kick in the front door of his home. Unable to gain entry, they apparently fired multiple shotgun rounds at the door. Still unable to open the door, they broke out a window and entered the home.

Brown confronted the suspects and one of them hit him in the head with a pistol. It is believed the other two were each armed with shotguns. The suspects used zip ties to bind Brown’s wife. One of their sons and his girlfriend were accosted by the suspects, as was one of three elderly persons the couple cares for in their home. Those individuals were not injured. Another son and the two other elderly people had no contact with the suspects during the incident.

The suspects ransacked the house apparently looking for items to steal. It is unknown at this time what may have been taken from the home. Brown refused medical treatment after police arrived.

Within an hour after the home invasion call, sheriff’s deputies received another call from a resident in the 7700-block of Broadneck Road, about one mile away from the first scene. The caller said a man had knocked on his door saying he had been shot. The man did not open his door, but did call 911. The man reported he believed the person knocking on his door had just stolen his neighbor’s GMC pickup truck.

Deputies responded to this area, along with officers from the Chestertown and Rock Hall police departments. While in the area, deputies spotted the stolen truck. The driver of the truck refused to stop and a pursuit ensued from Broadneck Road to Rt. 20 and west toward Rock Hall. Deputies and officers, including Sheriff Price, pursued the suspect to Rock Hall at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Sheriff Price parked his unmarked patrol car with its emergency lights activated across part of the intersection of Bayside Drive and Hawthorne Avenue. He got out of his car with his department-issued .12 gauge shotgun and his flashlight.

Seeing the suspect driving toward his position, Sheriff Price began waving his flashlight and signaling for the suspect to stop. Instead of the suspect stopping, the sheriff heard the engine accelerate and saw the vehicle coming directly toward him.

Sheriff Price ran to get out of the way and, in fear for his life, fired one shot from the shotgun at the suspect in the truck. The suspect continued to drive around the sheriff’s car and proceeded up Hawthorne to Eastern Neck Island Road where, about one-quarter of a mile later, the vehicle ran into a ditch and became disabled.

Kent County deputies, Chestertown and Rock Hall police officers took the suspect into custody without further incident. He was provided immediate emergency care for a gunshot wound in the arm. EMS units responded and the suspect was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. A loaded handgun was found on the seat of the stolen truck.

A search of the area continued for the other suspects. Later in the morning, Kent County deputies spotted one of the suspects running across a field about one-half mile from the original scene and took him into custody.

A Maryland State Police homicide investigator found a third suspect hiding in a vehicle on Mt. Pleasant Plantation Road, less than a tenth of a mile from the original crime scene. Two vehicles were parked there and it is believed they may have been the suspects’ getaway vehicles.

Evidence collection at the original crime scene and the other locations is continuing. Police recovered a shotgun and empty shotgun shells at the site of the home invasion.

Source: MSP HQ

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