BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police say William Charles “Chas” MacKenzie, 66, was alone in his home on High Germany Road in the rural community of Little Orleans in eastern Allegany County on Friday, when he opened fire from his bedroom window at Maryland State Troopers outside.
The shots hit and injured two troopers who were part of a tactical unit that surrounded his home about seven hours before. They survived being shot in the legs and are expected to make a full recovery.
MacKenzie’s wife called 911 from a neighbor’s home where she ran to escape him Thursday night. Police say she recounted a violent struggle with her husband. According to police, she said he threatened her with a gun as they fought, saying “this ends today.” They ended up struggling on the floor when the gun went off.
State police negotiated with MacKenzie throughout the night before finally making the decision to go in. They repeatedly called to him through a loudspeaker. Spokeswoman Elena Russo told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren that MacKenzie refused to answer his cell phone. She said they even used a robot.
It was just before 7:30 a.m. Friday when MacKenzie first fired at the Troopers. Police say they initially did not fire in return. An hour later, police say MacKenzie set his home on fire and exited “without warning.”
Police say: “MacKenzie brandished a handgun and pointed toward police, ignoring continued commands to drop the weapon.”
They shot and wounded him, providing medical treatment after disarming him at the scene. He was later taken to a hospital in Washington County, where he died.
Hellgren reports the injured troopers were airlifted to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, which is 97 miles from Little Orleans. They were treated and released before noon. The troopers are not being identified.
Governor Larry Hogan said in a tweet, “We’re grateful to hear they’re expected to make a full recovery. I want to express my deepest gratitude to these brave officers and all those who serve our state so selflessly.”
WJZ found MacKenzie had prior drug charges in Allegany County including manufacturing and marijuana possession. Prosecutors dropped that 2014 case. Last year, court records show he accused his wife of burglary at their home in Baltimore City. That case was also dropped.
One of his social media accounts states MacKenzie is a former Marine from Baltimore.
Court records show there was a foreclosure proceeding for a home in Baltimore City. He’s still listed as the owner. The lawyer handling the foreclosure tells Hellgren the alternate address given matches the home in Little Orleans where the standoff unfolded.
The Maryland State Trooper who fired at MacKenzie will be placed on leave while the investigation is completed, which is routine.