Maryland – Police say that an armed suspect is on the run after shooting and gravely wounding two Maryland officers. Here’s the latest.
A manhunt is underway after a traffic stop turned critical Wednesday night when Maryland detectives were fired on by an armed suspect.
Anne Arundel County detectives were investigating a homicide in Glen Burnie when they determined that the victim’s vehicle was missing. A short time later, detectives located the missing vehicle at a local Royal Farms convenience store near the Baltimore city limits.
This is what the road looked like this morning around 8:30 versus now.
Nobody allowed in, unless you’re a cop. Nobody can walk in or out on foot.
And if you do leave the neighborhood, an officer is checking every car and person. pic.twitter.com/Yj4N03PV4D
— McKenna Oxenden ☀️ (@mack_oxenden) February 6, 2020
When the officers attempted to stop the driver, they were met with gunfire striking Detective Scott Ballard, WUSA9’s Khalida Volou and Saliqa Khan report. Ballard was able to get away and seek medical help.
Detective Ian Preece, who was in a separate vehicle, chased the suspect to nearby Stoney Beach Townhouse Community. Preece pursued the suspect into the community where the suspect managed to exit his vehicle and fire at Detective Preece, striking him.
It is unclear if Preece returned fire. Anne Arundel County Police spokeswoman Jaclyn Davis said:
“It looks like it was one-way gunfire.”
The suspect, described as a thin Caucasian male approximately 6 feet tall, fled on foot and is still at large as of the writing of this article.
Police Chief Timothy J. Altomore held a press conference and extended firm words to the suspect at large.
“Every minute you stretch this out, it makes it more dangerous for my cops, and thus it makes it more dangerous for you. We need you to come and turn yourself in. We will treat you with respect to a human being. You will be safe and we will respect your rights. But you need to come in and end this lunacy before another person gets hurt.”
Both Detectives Ballard and Preece were rushed to area hospitals. Detective Preece, a 13-year veteran of the force assigned to the Homeland Security Investigations Team, is listed in stable condition.
Detective Ballard, a 22-year veteran, works on the department’s Fugitive Apprehension Team and is considered in critical but stable condition, CBS Baltimore’s Mike Shuh reports. County Executive Scott Pittman spoke out in support of Detectives Preece and Ballard as well as their families.
“That’s why I can promise you that everything humanly possible will be done to hunt down the man who did this.”
As of Wednesday morning, more than 50 officers are on foot in the area, canvassing the area in which the suspect was last seen. Additionally, K-9 units and a helicopter have been deployed to assist in the search.
We have absolutely no tolerance for the violence committed against two Anne Arundel County Police detectives last night. These brave officers are now in stable condition, and all Marylanders are praying for their full and speedy recovery.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) February 6, 2020
Area schools are closed and the public is asked to stay indoors as the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Several roads are closed to through traffic to prevent the suspect from leaving the area.
At one point Wednesday morning during a tense scene, nearly a dozen officers assembled outside an area laundromat and corner store. The officers banged on the door and called on the inhabitants to open up. However, when officers emerged, they were without the suspect, Baltimore Sun reports.
A neighbor by the name of Layton “Bud” Jones in the Glen Burnie community where the investigation started claims that he and the unnamed victim had been friends. In fact, the day of the homicide, Jones had noticed that the back door of the house was open and car gone but assumed his friend had been in a rush to work, Baltimore Sun reports.
He describes the cul-de-sac community as close and neighbors help one another out. When the victim’s dog Rocky was heard barking, Jones went to let him out. He says he was later surprised to learn that his friend had been killed.
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According to the Baltimore Sun, Annapolis State President Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat said:
“This gun violence is striking too close to home everywhere.”
It is unclear is the statement was intended to have political undertones.
Meanwhile, Governor Larry Hogan tweeted:
“We have absolutely no tolerance for the violence committed against two Anne Arundel County Police detectives last night. These brave officers are now in stable condition, and all Marylanders are praying for their full and speedy recovery.”
On Wednesday, the law enforcement community once again was forced to deal with the pain of loss as officials confirmed a rookie officer with the Kimberly Police Department was killed.
The officer was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but as of Wednesday afternoon, Kimberly Mayor Bob Ellerbrock confirmed that the rookie officer had succumbed to his wounds.
Ellerbrock said the officer had been with the department for less than a year. His death marks the first time a Kimberly officer has ever been killed while serving in the line of duty.
“Everybody loved him” Ellerbrock said. “He was a tremendous asset to our community.”
— Brittany Dionne (@BrittanyDtvNews) February 5, 2020
He said the loss was devastating and completely unnecessary.
“You have a life taken away for no reason,” the mayor said. “It is senseless. It is sad.”
The governor of Alabama also released a statement following the officer’s untimely death.
“I am profoundly grieved to hear of the passing of the Kimberly Police Officer who was shot in the line of duty last night. The safety of our citizens and the rule of law is forefront on the minds of our officers who willingly risk their lives on behalf of ours. His sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Governor Kay Ivey said.
The tragic incident started late on Tuesday night when officer from the Warrior Police Department attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle. Officials say the vehicle, filled with four suspects, refused to stop. That’s when Kimberly officers joined in the pursuit.
The Kimberly officer reportedly was able to get in front of the suspect’s vehicle, allowing the suspects to have an open opportunity to shoot.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing about 10 to 12 shots during the burst of gunfire.
The Kimberly officer was struck and lost control of his vehicle, crashing it just a short distance away, police said.
Right after the officer was injured, police lost track of the armed suspects. A BLUE Alert was issued in an attempt to quickly bring the suspects into custody.
BLUE Alerts is a nationwide system. Alerts are issued whenever an officer is critically wounded or killed by a violent criminal in the hopes that all agencies in the area will be on high alert to help capture the wanted fugitives.
The suspect who police say shot a Kimberly police officer overnight has been booked and charged with capital murder. Police have not updated us on the officer’s condition since early this morning when he was in critical condition at UAB Hospital. @abc3340 pic.twitter.com/Xa09hc0Gm0
— Stoney Sharp (@StoneySharp3340) February 5, 2020
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall posted a message to Twitter late in the evening to advise that an officer had been shot and was rushed to UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
The wanted triggerman was identified as Preston Chyenne Johnson. Police began an all-out manhunt to try and bring him in.
Officials released information on Johnson’s vehicle – a black 4-door 2003 BMW 325ISA with Alabama tag 2495AS2 with a missing bumper.
Authorities noted that Johnson should’ve been considered armed and an extremely dangerous threat to the public.
In the early hours of the morning, police from Warrior, Alabama confirmed that they had taken Johnson and three additional suspects into custody and said that the threat to the surrounding areas had been neutralized.
Officials say that Johnson had crashed the BMW he had been driving and called someone to pick him up in a GMC truck, in which authorities located and eventually got him into custody.
ABC 3340 reported that as of early Wednesday morning, Johnson had been booked into the Jefferson County Jail.
He now faces charges of capital murder. His hearing is set for March 2.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.
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