SALISBURY, Md. - We now know the Wilmington man shot and killed Monday afternoon, in what began as a traffic stop on Route 13 and Philadelphia Ave in Salisbury, was in fact a wanted fugitive in the state of Delaware. Investigators will not release his name until next of kin are notified.
Maryland State Police investigators tell WMDT the 25 year-old from Wilmington was apparently wanted on handgun charges.
The search for the suspect began in the Wicomico County area after Maryland State Apprehension Team investigators were contacted by the Wilmington Police Department on January 30, 2014.
This afternoon, investigators reportedly tracked the fugitive to a home in Delmar, and witnessed the suspect apparently getting into a car with a female driver, headed southbound on Route 13.
It was around 4:30 Monday afternoon, when a Maryland State Trooper stopped the vehicle at the corner of Route 13 and Philadelphia Avenue in Salisbury, right in front of the clear channel building.
A preliminary investigation shows that Officer Milton Rodriguez, an 18-year-veteran of the Salisbury Police Department and a member of MSAT, came to assist the trooper on the scene, approaching the fugitive in the passenger side of the car.
When Officer Rodriguez reportedly asked the fugitive for his name, the suspect apparently put both hands in his jacket pockets.
The officer told him to remove his hands from his pockets, and that's when the fugitive refused and told the officer one of them was going to die.
It was at that time that the officer, in fear for his safety, reportedly pulled his weapon.
Investigators say multiple shots were heard fired, but they cannot confirm exactly who shot first, the passenger or the officers who conducted the traffic stop.
They also are not sure at this time if the passenger was wounded either by a self-inflicted gunshot or by the police officer.
Police found the fugitive had his hands clenched around revolvers in both jacket pockets.
He was also in possession of what police believe is cocaine.
Emergency medical personnel were summoned to the scene to treat the wounded man.
He was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 7:30 p.m.
His body will be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.
The vehicle, we're told is a maroon Chevy Malibu, which is being analyzed by crime scene technicians, who are also collecting and processing evidence from the scene.
Police describe the scene Monday afternoon as chaotic, as investigators attempted to close off the area after the shooting.
We're told the perimeter closed off the northbound and southbound lanes of Route 13 from Naylor Street to Isabella.
We're told the officers involved were not injured.
The female driver also escaped without injury, and does not appear to be facing any charges.
We're told the two individuals were acquaintances.
Businesses in this area tell us they didn't hear any shots fired but they witnessed the unfolding investigation which cut off the area for hours.
Maryland State Police are in charge of this investigation.
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