WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - Police say that two juveniles were arrested after reportedly almost striking a trooper on patrol, and after a following chase where a trooper fired at but did not hit a suspect whom he says he thought was reaching for a gun, on Wednesday morning in Wicomico County.
The male suspects are 16 and 17 years old and are both from Salisbury. They are currently being charged as juveniles and therefore are not being identified. Neither was injured during the incident.
Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators say that just after 12:00 AM on Wednesday, a Maryland State trooper from the Salisbury Barrack was patrolling northbound on Route 12 when a southbound 2009 Chevrolet Equinox crossed the center line and veered toward him, almost striking his patrol car. The trooper turned around, activated his emergency eqiupment and tried to stop the vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and the trooper reported to the barrack that he was chasing them. A check of the vehicle's tag number by the barrack showed that the tag was stolen. Two other troopers allegedly heard the pursuing trooper report that he was heading in the direction of Washington Street and they tried to stop the vehicle there.
When they arrived in the area, the two troopers reportedly saw two people, later identified as the suspects, running away. They gave commands to stop which were ignored and a chase followed through several backyards on Washington Street.
Investigators say that one of the troopers chasing one of the suspects saw him reach to the area of his waistband as he was running. Believing the supect may have been reaching for a gun, the trooper fired one shot from his department issued pistol. The suspect was not hit and he reportedly surrendered.
The second suspect was caught 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 reportedly called the barrack and reported that their wallets and cash had been taken from their vehicle. The suspect had been at their home earlier that 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 investigating, 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.
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