BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — The suspect in a standoff earlier this week in Harford County appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon, and court records are revealing more about past allegations of violent threats.

According to charging documents, “When asked what his intent was for shooting at the police, Mr. Murdy stated that he was trying to kill them.“

Benjamin Murdy said he obtained a private defense attorney, and a judge rescheduled his bail review for Friday. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office said Murdy fired almost 200 rounds of ammunition at police and neighbors at his home on Oak Ridge Drive in Street.

He told WJZ he did not realize he was shot when the first bullet grazed him, but “screamed” when a second bullet hit him. He showed WJZ a bloody wound on his leg.

Police were originally called to the home in Street for a report that Murdy shot and killed his girlfriend’s dog.

Murdy’s Home In Street

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren obtained court records that show a history of domestic violence allegations and two protective orders filed against him.

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WJZ reviewed two hours of police dispatch recordings as Murdy barricaded himself in his home. You can hear deputies responding while the bullets are flying around them.

They track Murdy inside his home until he surrenders.

No officers were injured but Murdy’s neighbor Robert Schell was shot twice as he was taking his trash cans to the bottom of his driveway.

His ex-wife wrote in 2018 that the abuse started more than a decade before. She alleges Murdy’s “alcoholism…progressively has escalated.” She said he was “out of control had threatened to shoot the police on the front lawn if they were called.” 

She goes on to write he has “gotten out guns and threatened his own life and the police if we were to call for help.”

“I am afraid of what he will do next,” she wrote.

Another protective order WJZ obtained says Murdy made a “direct threat” to a man and his wife and warned “he will have a lot more issues than a dead dog.”

According to police and court records, Murdy’s guns were taken away from him, but later given back once the past cases were resolved.

Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler told WJZ Murdy had the weapons used during the standoff legally.

Gahler said Murdy never acted on past threats against officers and noted his deputies did not file a single shot during the lengthy standoff Tuesday.

If convicted, Murdy faces possible life in prison on the attempted murder charge.

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