Chestertown – Maryland State Police are investigating the death of a suspect in a domestic violence situation who shot and wounded a deputy sheriff before being fatally wounded by the injured deputy early this morning, according to a Maryland State Police Spokesman.
The Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office deputy is identified as Deputy First Class Warren S. Hogan, 32, a four-year-veteran of the department. He is currently undergoing treatment for a gunshot wound at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, where he is listed in critical condition.
Troopers have identified the suspect as James L. Rich II, 52, of the 200-block of Edmore Road, Chestertown, Md. He was pronounced deceased at the Chester River Hospital early this morning.
Police said that at about 9:30 p.m. yesterday, the suspect’s girlfriend, who had been staying with him at his residence, sent a text message to her father stating she and the suspect had been in a physical altercation and requested he call police. Her father called 911 and Deputy Hogan and another deputy responded to the home, but both the suspect and victim had left. It was later learned the victim’s father had picked her up and transported her to the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Hogan returned to the sheriff’s office and took a report from the victim concerning the domestic violence incident with the suspect earlier in the evening. The victim requested to return to th e residence to obtain some belongings and asked the deputy to accompany her there.
The investigation indicates that shortly after midnight, Deputy Hogan returned to the home with the victim and her parents. The suspect and his teenage son were already at the home.
Deputy Hogan and the victim went into the one-story, single-family home and she began to retrieve her things. The victim and suspect became involved in another argument upon her entry to the home, according to police.
The preliminary investigation indicates the suspect went into a room in the back of the residence and obtained a shotgun. He came out of the room and fired one round. He then continued walking toward the deputy and was in close proximity when the suspect and deputy exchanged gunfire. Both were struck by the other’s gunfire. The deputy was armed with his department-issued Smith and Wesson .45 caliber pistol, said MSP Spokesman.
EMS personnel were summoned to the scene and transported both the deputy and the suspect. No one else at the home was struck by gunfire.
Maryland State Police criminal investigators and crime scene personnel remain on the scene. Investigators are obtaining a search warrant and will be searching and processing the scene after the search warrant is signed.
Deputy Hogan was wearing a body camera. Investigators will be reviewing any camera footage as part of the ongoing criminal investigation. At this stage of the investigation, any camera footage is considered investigative information and will not be released, said police.