Little Orleans, Md – Police continue to investigate a late Thursday night barricaded suspect, identified as William Charles Mackenzie, 66, of Little Orleans, in Allegany County that injured two troopers and fatally wounded the suspect after a seven-hour standoff with police, accoring to according to Maryland State Police Spokeswoman Elena Russo.
Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, Maryland State Police at the Cumberland Barrack received a 9-1-1 call from Mackenzie’s wife. The wife informed police that she and her husband had been in an argument when he threatened her with a gun at their home on the 11,000 block of High Germany Road, said Russo.
She said a struggle ensued between the two of them and they fell to the ground. As they fell, the gun reportedly fired at least one round. The wife was able to escape the residence and run to a neighboring house approximately 200 yards away to call for help, accoring to Russo.
Police from Cumberland Barrack and allied police agencies arrived on scene to establish a perimeter. Police negotiators announced their presence and attempted to make contact with Mackenzie. Police called his cell phone, but all calls were directed to voicemail.
Members of the STATE team used the loudspeaker on their armored vehicle, commanding Mackenzie to exit the home unarmed. Throughout the night, Mackenzie refused multiple police requests to surrender and repeatedly said he was not coming out.
Shortly before 7:30 a.m., Mackenzie fired multiple shots from a bedroom window, striking two members of the STATE team who were near the perimeter. Police did not fire in return. Mackenzie continued to refuse directions to surrender, said Russo.
According to the ongoing investigation, it was just after 8:30 a.m. and without warning, that Mackenzie exited the house which appeared to be on fire. Mackenzie brandished a handgun and pointed toward police, ignoring continued commands to drop the weapon, according to Russo. Police fired and wounded Mackenzie, disarming him of his weapon. Emergency medical treatment was immediately provided on the scene. Mackenzie was transported to the Washington County Regional Medical Center where he was later pronounced deceased.
The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is conducting the investigation, as is a procedure in police-involved shootings. Investigators have determined a trooper from the Maryland State Police fired his agency issued firearm. He has been placed on administrative leave, as is procedure pending the outcome of the investigation. Upon completion, the investigation will be provided to the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.
Fire personnel on the scene extinguished the fire, with assistance from troopers. The Office of the State Fire Marshal leads the investigation into the cause of the fire.
Assistance during this situation was provided by a number of public safety agencies. They included C3I, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Cumberland Police Department, the Little Orleans Volunteer Fire Department, and State Police from the Cumberland Barrack, Criminal Enforcement Division, and the Aviation Command.
The two troopers who were shot during the incident are not being identified at this time. They are members of the Special Tactical Assault Team Element, or STATE team. They were flown by Maryland State Police medevac to the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where they were treated for their injuries and later released.
Both troopers were struck by gunfire originating from inside the home, said Russo. Investigators believe Mackenzie was alone in the house and in his bedroom when he fired several rounds through a window toward police on the perimeter. Police believe Mackenzie had multiple firearms in the home.