BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland state trooper shot at but did not hit a teen car theft suspect who he thought was reaching for a gun during a chase early Wednesday morning.
The incident began just after midnight Wednesday morning, when investigators say a trooper from the Salisbury Barrack was patrolling northbound on Route 12 when a 2009 Chevrolet Equinox going southbound crossed the center line, veering toward his patrol car.
The trooper then turned around and attempted to stop the Equinox, but the driver did not stop, police say. When a check of the vehicle’s tag number indicated that it was stolen, two other troopers joined the effort to stop the car, attempting to intercept it near Washington Street.
When those troopers arrived in that area, they saw two suspects fleeing on foot. They reportedly told them to stop while pursuing them through several backyards in the area.
State police say one of those troopers saw one of the suspects reach to the area of his waistband as he was running and, believing the suspect may could be reaching for a gun, fired one shot. The suspect was not hit, but surrendered.
Maryland State Police crime scene technicians have processed the scene and no gun has been recovered.
The second suspect was apprehended by Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office deputies a short distance away and taken into custody without further incident.
The suspects are 16 and 17 years old and both from Salisbury.
Investigators have confirmed that the Chevrolet Equinox was reported stolen to the Salisbury Police Department on September 16. Relatives of one of the suspects also reported that their wallets and cash were taken from their vehicle after the suspect had been at their home earlier in the night.
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 conducting an investigation, per procedure. The trooper involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave, which is also State Police procedure.
Crime scene technicians also recovered a bag of what they believe is marijuana from the scene of the shooting.