Boy, 16, Arrested in Md. Officer’s Death; 3 Suspects Sought

A witness saw the officer with her gun drawn, confronting the occupants of a Jeep that ran her over, according to the witness' father

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A 16-year-old boy has been charged in the slaying of a Baltimore County, Maryland, police officer, and three other suspects are still being sought, authorities said Tuesday. 

Scott Shellenberger, the state's attorney for Baltimore County, told The Associated Press that the teen has been charged with murder as an adult. 

"And police are looking for other suspects as we speak," Shellenberger said by phone. 

The Baltimore County Police and Fire Department tweeted Tuesday that the teen was arrested shortly after the female officer was fatally injured Monday. The police tweet did not explain the delay in announcing the teen's apprehension. The teen's name was not immediately released. Police said he is awaiting a bail hearing. 

The teenage suspect was scheduled to appear before a judge at a Towson courthouse at 1 p.m. Tuesday. 

Residents in a leafy community of suburban homes where the officer was injured described seeing her on the ground, badly hurt. Several people tried to keep her alive, but she was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

"The dark will not hamper our investigation," Baltimore County Police Cpl. Shawn Vinson vowed at a news briefing Monday evening.

The officer, who wasn't immediately identified, was bleeding badly from significant injuries and was pronounced dead after being rushed to a hospital. Vinson said investigators have recovered the suspects' abandoned Jeep, but police declined to confirm whether it was used to injure the officer.

Relatives of the officer, who would have been on the force four years by July, have been notified.

Tony Kurek told The Associated Press his adult son was outside in the family's yard Monday afternoon in the northeast Baltimore County community of Perry Hall when the son saw the officer with her gun drawn, confronting the occupants of a Jeep.

"The next thing he heard was a pop, and he saw the Jeep take off and run right over her," said Kurek. The car left skid marks behind, he said, adding the woman was bleeding from her head.

Logan Kurek, who is a volunteer firefighter, said he heard his younger brother "frantically screaming" and ran outside to perform CPR.

Vinson said the officer went to investigate a call about a suspicious vehicle when she encountered at least one suspect and was "critically injured." He added that the confrontation may have stemmed from a burglary in progress, noting one home on the block had damage to a patio door.

"What exactly happened, we are not sure yet until an autopsy is performed," Vinson said. He said he had no information about whether she had fired her own weapon.

He added that a homicide investigation has been opened. Officers were searching for suspects "who we believe are armed and dangerous," Police Chief Terrence Sheridan said.

Events began unfolding Monday afternoon in the leafy neighborhood of single-family homes. It was then that Kurek's neighbor, Dahle Amendt, said he had just settled into his recliner for a rest when he heard a woman's voice outside his house.

"I heard, 'Get out of the car!' 'Get out of the car!' Get out of the car!' at least three times, and then a pop," Amendt said.

Amendt said his wife also ran outside and tried to revive the officer. Vinson confirmed such accounts but said the officer was pronounced dead at a hospital where she was taken.

"This is a shock. It's a quiet community. It's just so sad," Amendt said.

Investigators urged residents in a sizable swath of Perry Hall to stay hunkered down inside their homes and lock all doors and windows as officers search the community fringed with woodlands.

Three elementary schools were on alert status for hours, with students and teachers told to stay in their school buildings as police continued a search for the suspects. But by Monday evening, parents were allowed to come to the schools to pick up their youngsters, and school officials tweeted overnight that all Baltimore County public schools would open on time Tuesday.

At a gas station located at a cordoned-off intersection, some residents gathered to watch three helicopters of TV news crews buzzing over the neighborhood. An unmarked car with law enforcers, including one officer cradling a rifle in the back seat, drove past and was waved through by police manning the intersection.

Heavily armed officers with a trained canine also could be seen scrambling across neatly manicured backyards. A pair of officers elsewhere, with guns drawn, entered a home's front door during the search.

"It's pretty scary," said Sukvir Singh, an employee of the gas station.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said she was shot, but the Baltimore County Police Department said they are not sure how she died and an autopsy will provide more details.

Hogan said “we're deeply saddened” that the “brave officer” was shot in the line of duty.

Authorities advised motorists to avoid the area and residents to shelter in place while police conduct their search.

Students at three local elementary schools were not being dismissed but were instead being held over on alert status because of police activity. Parents were told to contact school administrators for further instructions.

Associated Press writer Denise Lavoie also contributed.

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