Audio: Maryland Trooper Dragged 2000 Feet On I-95, Driver Fatally Shot

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Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred Friday morning.

Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on Friday morning, a trooper from the Maryland State Police Waterloo Barrack was working DUI enforcement on northbound I-95 in Howard County.
The trooper observed a red Ford Escape weaving across multiple lanes of I-95. The trooper initiated a traffic stop in the area of northbound I-95 near Rt. 100 in Elkridge. The vehicle pulled over onto the right shoulder.

Prior to exiting his vehicle, the trooper requested backup assistance for standard field sobriety testing. Before the second trooper arrived on scene, the trooper approached the driver’s side of the vehicle attempting to make contact with the driver identified as Julio Cesar Moran-Ruiz, 36, of Baltimore. Moments later, the backup trooper arrived and approached the passenger side of the vehicle.

The troopers attempted to talk with the Moran-Ruiz and observed that he showed obvious signs of impairment. The trooper on the driver’s side of the vehicle asked the driver to exit the vehicle. He refused to get out of the vehicle.

The preliminary investigation indicates the driver put the vehicle in drive and the trooper reached into the car in an attempt to stop the driver from fleeing. As the trooper reached in, the suspect accelerated and drove away, dragging the trooper more than 2,000 feet down the interstate.

Preliminary information indicates the trooper continued to yell at the driver to stop, but he refused to. Fearing for his life while being dragged by the vehicle, the trooper fired his agency issued pistol at the driver. The trooper was thrown from the car into the center median and was found by another trooper not far from where the vehicle came to rest.

Howard County emergency medical services personnel responded to the scene. They pronounced the driver deceased at the scene.

The trooper-involved shooting is being investigated by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, as is procedure. The scene is being processed by Maryland State Police crime scene technicians. Troopers have observed multiple alcohol containers inside the vehicle and a machete was under the driver’s seat within his reach.

Upon completion, the investigation will be submitted to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for review. The Howard County State’s Attorney was briefed by State Police investigators this morning and will continue to be updated throughout the investigation.

Investigators from the Maryland State Police Internal Affairs Division responded to the scene. As is procedure in a trooper involved shooting, an investigation will be conducted by the Internal Affairs Division.

Both troopers at the scene have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues. This is procedure whenever a trooper is involved in a shooting.

Additional assistance is being provided by troopers from the Waterloo Barrack and investigators from the Criminal Enforcement Division.

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 investigation is continuing.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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