RISING SUN, Md. (WJZ) — Three of the six members of the police department in Rising Sun are on routine administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting Monday night that remains under investigation.
Police identified the man who died as 45-year-old James Douglas Meadows — a native of the small Cecil County town. Even the police chief said he knew Meadows personally.
“His actions forced the response from the police officers,” Chief ‘Chip’ Peterson, Jr. said.
He declined to identify the officers but said one had been on the job for 33 years and another for 22 years. The third officer only joined the force three months ago.
According to a police statement, officers were called to a home just before 7 p.m. Monday on Little New York Road for an “armed suicidal man with possible hostages.” They were assisting Maryland State Police and the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers said they watched Meadows through a window as he held a handgun and fought with another man.
“The officers engaged the armed subject — who is now standing next to an opened sliding glass door —with verbal commands to no avail. The subject refused to comply and turned toward the officers while raising the handgun. The officers perceived a threat to them and subsequently fired multiple shots from their agency-issued firearms.“
Word spread quickly through town. Several residents told WJZ they were stunned at the shooting. Chief Peterson said it was the first police-involved shooting he can remember in his more than 30 years in the community.
All three officers were wearing their body cameras, and the chief told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren the video would be publicly released “at the appropriate time.”
Maryland State Police did not respond to a request for comment. They are leading this investigation according to the chief. The state’s attorney in Cecil County will also look into the shooting.
“It’s terrible. It’s just too close to home—too close,” said resident Patricia Charsha. “I never thought we’d have something like that happen here.”