BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two people were killed and many questions still remain unsolved after an off-duty state trooper fires his weapon during an apparent shootout between two suspects.
The trooper was off-duty and working his second job as a security guard when shots rang out.
It was around 2 a.m. Sunday morning when bullets started flying in a Denny’s parking lot in Salisbury. Police say 27-year old Michael Ward and 21 Jaquan Griffin got into an altercation, which turned into a gunfight.
Two off-duty state troopers, who were working at the restaurant as security guards, noticed a large crowd outside. One of them stepped in.
“The trooper engaged that individual who turned and began walking towards him firing his handgun at the trooper. The trooper in obvious fear for his life fired his weapon,” says Greg Shipley, with Maryland State Police.
Moments later, Griffin reportedly staggered into the restaurant and collapsed on the floor. Both men were taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.
“There were two weapons recovered from the crime. They’re now being tested at a ballistics lab,” says Shipley.
Maryland State Police investigators believe Ward fatally shot Griffin, who returned fire before collapsing. It’s unclear who fired the round that killed Ward.
“We know our trooper fired at this individual. We don’t know if his rounds were the fatal rounds or individual was struck by the person he was shooting at. All of that remains under investigation,” says Shipley.
The trooper who fired his weapon is a seven-year veteran of the force. He’s now on routine administrative leave.
The bodies of both Ward and Griffin will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for autopsies.
The investigation into this shooting is ongoing, with evidence being processed and security camera footage still being reviewed.