Baltimore County police officer was killed in
a confrontation Monday as she responded to an afternoon call in Perry Hall,
setting off an hours-long manhunt for multiple suspects as police searched
densely populated suburban neighborhoods.
The officer’s death prompted outcry
throughout the state, and the search left nearly 2,000 students stranded in
their schools well into the evening as police looked for the suspects,
considered armed and dangerous. Authorities continued to search for the
suspects Monday night, but did not say how many there were.
would not confirm what types of injuries were suffered by the officer, a
four-year veteran assigned to the Parkville precinct. A witness saw the
officer, whose name has not been released, get hit by a vehicle.
Details remained unclear Monday
night. Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan said the officer was
responding to a call for a possible burglary involving four suspects. However,
a police spokesman said the call was for a report of a suspicious vehicle.
Investigators will review body camera
footage to determine what happened, Sheridan said.
“This is a bad time in the United
States for law enforcement,” Sheridan said at a news conference at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, where
the officer died Monday afternoon.
Police were “working grids” in the
area as they searched for the suspects, Sheridan said.
“It’s a densely populated area with a
lot of stream valleys and places where people can hide,” said County Councilman
David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican who lives
nearby. “My heart just goes out to the family of this police officer who has
been taken from us.”
Police did not release a description
of the suspects. They said Monday night they recovered a Jeep that was involved
in the crime. Police could not confirm whether the car had been stolen or how
many people were inside of it, but believe the car was also involved in an
Homicide detectives were working with
aviation, canine units, and heat sensing technology to search for the suspects
– at least one – along Belair Road as night fell, Vinson said. “The dark will
not hamper our investigation.” Vinson expressed hope that the officer’s body
camera footage could be used to identify the suspects. “We’re going to be
investigating this throughout the night, all day tomorrow,” he said.
Roads in the area were shut down and
residents were told to shelter in place.
Meanwhile, more than 1,900 students
at several schools in the Perry Hall area remained in school for hours after
dismissal as the search continued. County school officials informed parents
around 7:30 p.m. that they could pick up their children.
Sheridan said the schools were locked
for the safety of the children.
While the officer’s family remained
at Medstar Franklin Square, Vinson said that the officer’s body has been taken
to the Medical Examiner’s officer for autopsy. He said he could not confirm
reports that she had been hit by the Jeep until after the autopsy had been
completed and the body camera footage reviewed.
Vinson could not disclose the
victim’s identity but said July would have marked the officer’s fourth
anniversary with the department.
“It’s shocking,” Vinson said of the
death. “But reassuring to see how the police family comes together.” He said
officers from the area had been coming to the hospital all day to pay their
The incident began to unfold just
before 2 p.m., when police received a call for a suspicious vehicle on Linwen
Way, police spokesman Cpl. Shawn Vinson said.
The officer who responded was
“critically injured,” he said, but did not describe what happened. She was
taken to Franklin Square, where she was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m., Vinson
Vinson said the department could not
yet confirm what injuries she sustained.
But a resident of the neighborhood
told The Baltimore Sun his son saw the officer struck by a vehicle.
Tony Kurek, 54, had just walked in
the door of his home when his son, Dakota, shouted for him. “‘Dad, Dad, a cop
just got run over out front,’” the father recalled his son saying.
The officer was lying in the road in
front of his house, he said. Dakota told his father that he had seen the
officer draw her gun on a black Jeep Wrangler and ordered the people inside to
Instead, the driver sped forward,
ramming the officer with the vehicle. She landed about 20 feet away. “She
basically landed almost in front of my mailbox,” Kurek said.
Tony Kurek called 911. He screamed
expletives into the phone: “You got a cop laying in the road dying,” he told
Another son, Logan, a volunteer
firefighter, began doing CPR.
Tony Kurek said he “won’t soon
forget” the look on the officer’s eyes as his son worked to revive her. “I had
a very, very bad feeling that she was going or gone.”
“She was young. It just breaks your
heart,” he said.
Kurek said glass and one shell casing
were found outside, and that his son and neighbors had hear the pop of shots
fired. But he didn’t know whether the officer or someone in the car had pulled
The neighborhood remained on lockdown
for an hour after the incident, Kurek said. He and neighbors were told not to
leave their homes.
Vinson, the police spokesman, said a
home on Linwen Way had damage to a patio door, though police don't yet know if
that was the same home where the call to police was made.
“We are actively following up several
leads,” Vinson said.
The officer’s death comes at a
tumultuous time for Baltimore County government. Less than two weeks ago,
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who was running for governor,
died unexpectedly after going into cardiac arrest.
County Administrative Officer Fred
Homan became acting county executive following Kamenetz’s death. Homan was
present at the evening press conference at the hospital but did not speak
“It is a sad day in Baltimore County
as we mourn the loss of a police officer who died in the line of duty,” Homan
said in a statement. “We share our sorrow with her family and her extended
family, the women and men who put their lives on the line every day to keep our
In a statement, County Council
Chairman Julian Jones pledged that county leaders would support the officer’s
family and colleagues.
“We are confident that the
perpetrator of this heinous crime will be brought to justice,” said Jones, a
for the department and the officer’s family poured in from leaders across the
“The suspect who committed this
terrible crime remains at large, and [Maryland State Police] are assisting Baltimore
County Police in their search,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a post on Twitter.
“The state stands ready to provide any and all resources necessary to capture
this individual and bring them to justice.”
The search for suspects set off fears
in the surrounding area.
On Monday afternoon, a county police
officer with a long gun peered into the woods at Gunview Road near Oak White
Road, while a long line of neighbors sat in their idling cars at a roadblock.
Heather Cummins, 54, lives nearby and
was anxious to get home to her 80-year-old father, who was home alone.
“It’s not that it’s an
inconvenience,” she said. “It’s the concern that someone’s on the loose and
we’ve lost the life of a precious police officer.”
Jackie McDaniel, 73, who lives in the
Red Fox Farm neighborhood, said she had left to buy milk around 1 p.m. She
called her sister, who was still at their home, when she heard about the
“All these police passed me on the
Beltway,” she said. “I called my sister and told her, ‘Do not answer the
buzzer. Do not let anyone in.’ We’re in a locked-entry building, but you never
Media Group reporters Christina Tkacik, Libby Solomon, Talia Richman, Colin
Campbell, Sarah Meehan, Liz Bowie, Jessica Anderson and Pamela Wood contributed
to this article.