ELKRIDGE, Md. (WJZ) — A suspected impaired driver is dead after he was shot by a Maryland State trooper overnight. Police said the man dragged the trooper along I-95 as he attempted to flee a traffic stop in Howard County.
The incident happened just after 2 a.m. Friday on northbound I-95 near Rt. 100 in Elkridge.
In a press conference Friday morning, State Police Superintendent Col. Woodrow W. Jones III shared preliminary information about the investigation into the shooting.
Police said a uniformed trooper in a marked police vehicle stopped a suspected impaired driver after seeing a red Ford Escape weaving across multiple lanes of I-95. The driver pulled over to the right shoulder.
When the trooper approached the car, officials said he saw the male driver was impaired and saw several alcohol beverage containers in the car. The trooper requested backup to help him conduct a field sobriety test.
The trooper asked the driver to exit the vehicle several times, police said, but the man refused. He also provided a false name to the trooper. That’s when the man put the vehicle in drive. The trooper tried to remove the keys from the ignition, but instead the suspect accelerated, dragging the trooper more than 2,000 feet down the interstate. The trooper yelled at the driver to stop over and over again.
Police said the trooper feared for his life and shot the driver and was thrown from SUV and into the center median. Another trooper found the injured trooper not far from where the car eventually came to a stop.
The trooper, a three-year veteran, suffered injuries to his lower extremities and was taken to Shock Trauma for treatment. He was treated and released, police said.
The suspect was a Hispanic male, who has not yet been identified and had no identification on him, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said troopers also found a machete under the driver’s seat within hand’s reach of the driver.
State police superintendent would not say if machete found in vehicle was ever used to threaten trooper; trooper is a 3-year veteran of the force. @wjz
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) August 28, 2020
Both troopers at the scene were placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues. There is dash cam video of the incident that will be under review, but the trooper was not wearing a body camera.
Due to the extensive area of the scene along northbound I-95, morning traffic had to be diverted around the area. MDOT State Highway Administration personnel responded to assist with detours.
The interstate remained closed between Routes 100 and 195 for police activity throughout the morning, reopening around 9 a.m.