Reporting Meghan McCorkell
LAUREL, Md. (WJZ)—Behind bars. The man accused of shooting a Howard County police officer has been released from the hospital and is now in jail.
Meghan McCorkell has the new details on exactly what happened along the side of Route 1 Wednesday evening.
Charging documents just released to WJZ are giving new insight on the minutes leading up to the arrest.
Police released a surveillance photo of Stephon Prather moments before he opened fire on Howard County Police.
According to court documents, it was an employee inside an AutoMax that first called 911.
Prather had come to the store to test drive a car, but the employee noticed a gun in his pocket and worried he was about to be robbed.
When three officers confronted Prather, he pushed one of them and then pulled out the gun.
“The shooter, he wasn’t yelling. He wasn’t anything. He just, it just seemed odd,” said Aaron Lagioia, witness.
Lagioia was driving down Route 1 at that time. He watched as Prather opened fire, hitting Officer Steven Houk, who collapsed in the grass.
“He was laying face down, and then the ambulance got here,” Lagioia said.
Officer Houk was shot once in the torso. He is still recovering at Maryland Shock Trauma.
Prather ran into the woods as other officers fired at him.
For 17 hours, police combed the area searching for the gunman.
Early Thursday morning, he was spotted along Route 1 by a man working nearby.
“I stopped right there and I saw one of the cops in the street, and I just say, ’It’s him, It’s him,’” said Freddy Piña, who spotted the suspect.
Suffering from gunshot wounds in both legs, Prather was taken to the hospital.
“Clearly he knew the heat was on him because he eventually walked out and surrendered, knowing that officers had surrounded him,” said Sherry Llewellyn, Howard County Police.
Prather faces multiple charges, including three counts of attempted murder.
Prather does have a lengthy criminal history, including another charge of attempted murder in Prince George’s County. He has also been charged with multiple counts of assault and firearms violations.
Prather is being held at the Howard County Detention Center on no bond.
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