A Baltimore County police officer has died after she was shot Monday afternoon while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in suburban Perry Hall, according to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. A Baltimore County Police Department spokesperson confirmed the officer would have been a four-year veteran of the force in July.
Shawn Vinson, the police department’s spokesman, said law enforcement agencies are searching for at least one suspect who is possibly still armed. The officer hasn’t been identified and an official cause of death won’t be determined until an autopsy is performed.
“She was doing her job today … and was critically injured from this altercation,” Vinson said. “We are talking to witnesses and trying to find out what happened.”
The officer was responding to the suspicious vehicle report at around 2 p.m., when the shooting occurred, according to police. The officer was transported to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, about seven miles away, but did not survive. Hogan announced her death in a tweet Monday afternoon.
Ten officers have died in the line of duty in Baltimore County, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. This officer will be the 11th to die on duty.
Residents in the area of Belair Road and Klausmeier Road, in Perry Hall, Maryland, were advised to shelter in place. Motorists were told to avoid Belair Road between Forge Road and Ebenezer Road.
CBS Baltimore reports that schools near the scene of the shooting are on alert and delaying dismissal, per county officials. Parents are being told not to respond to the schools, but instead to call the school administrators for more information. Schools are saying the students are safe inside the school.
Witness describes the scene
One area resident, Stephanie, spoke to CBS Baltimore after she attempted and failed to enter her neighborhood. She was directed out of the area by police, but was concerned about her children who were home at the time of the shooting.
“The incident happened outside in front of my house,” she said “and everyone’s really nervous right now.”
She said her husband is home with the children, but they are very upset.
“They actually saw a black Jeep Wrangler and they saw that I guess it was a dead end street and they went to turn around and officers were following them. One of the officers must have gotten out of the car, I’m not sure if gunfire was exchanged or if they ran over her, but she was laying in the street,” she said. “They’re pretty hysterical right now. It’s shocking, it’s scary, it just goes to show it’s everywhere, nobody is exempt from it. I just want to go home, but because they’re on lockdown, I don’t know when they’ll let me in.”
Her eldest son is a practicing firefighter and was with the officer before additional authorities responded.