A Maryland police officer shot and fatally wounded a DUI suspect for attempting to flee a traffic stop after the officer was dragged along the I-95 on the morning of Friday, Aug. 28, according to a news release issued by the Maryland State Police.
The suspect was a Hispanic male but had no identification on his person. He was pronounced dead by the emergency medical team after they arrived at the scene.
The Maryland police officer who shot the suspect was taken to the University of Maryland R. Adams Crowley Shock Trauma Center to get treatment for injuries sustained after the suspect dragged him for more than 2,000 feet along the highway.
The incident occurred in Howard County, Maryland. According to the preliminary investigation into the case, the officer was working along I-95 on DUI duty when he saw a red-colored Ford Escape swerving across multiple lanes on the highway at around 2 a.m.
The officer then initiated a traffic stop northbound of the highway, near route 100 in Elkridge, Maryland, and the Ford Escape that the suspect was driving pulled over on the right shoulder of the road.
Before he got out of his car to speak to the driver, the officer called for backup for the standard field sobriety test, and then made his way to the suspect’s vehicle, on the driver’s side, in an attempt to make contact with the driver. A backup officer—who was called in—arrived moments later and made his way to the passenger side of the vehicle the driver was in.
The initial officer on the driver’s side of the vehicle noticed that the suspect was showing signs of impairment, and asked the driver to step out of the vehicle, to which the driver refused.
The suspect then put his vehicle into drive mode. In an attempt to keep the suspect from fleeing, the officer reached into the vehicle to stop him, but the suspect took off and ended up dragging the officer along the highway.
The driver did not stop the vehicle despite the officer yelling for him to stop.
“Fearing for his life while being dragged by the vehicle, the trooper fired his agency issued pistol at the driver,” the news release stated. The officer was then thrown from the car following the shot, and landed near the highway median, where he was found by another officer.
The officer who fired his gun is currently under investigation by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, as a standard procedure during shooting incidents. Police internal affairs are also involved in the investigation.
Maryland State Police officers and technicians are currently investigating the crime scene. Once complete, it will be sent off to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s office.
Officers found empty alcohol containers and a machete underneath the suspect’s car seat, all of which were within the suspect’s reach, according to the release.
Both officers who were there are the scene have been placed on administrative leave as investigations continue.