Maryland Trooper Shot, Suspected Shooter Dead

An investigation is underway after a trooper was shot while conducting a traffic stop in Wicomico County last evening.

Officials said shortly before 10:00 p.m. last night, a Maryland State Trooper from the Easton Barrack attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a Toyota Prius on eastbound Route 50 near the Vienna Scale House. The trooper approached the passenger side of the vehicle to make contact with the driver.

During the traffic stop, the driver brandished a firearm and fired at the trooper, striking him several times police said. The trooper returned fire. Neither the shooter nor the two other occupants in the vehicle were struck by the trooper’s return fire. The driver then fled the scene traveling eastbound on Route 50.

An off-duty trooper on his way home heard the broadcast and immediately responded to the scene. Upon his arrival, he found the injured trooper suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He provided the trooper with medical treatment on the scene until EMS arrived. The injured trooper was subsequently transported by ground to the hospital.

Shortly after 10:00 p.m., officers from the Delmar Police Department located the suspect vehicle in the area of eastbound Route 54 and Providence Church Road in Delmar. Officers followed the vehicle to the 600 block of Elizabeth Street, a dead-end residential street in Delmar.

The driver, later identified as Keiford Lee Copper, III, 23, of Trappe, Maryland., attempted to turn the vehicle around. He hit the curb, crashed into two vehicles, and came to rest after hitting a tree. Police surrounded the vehicle and observed Copper alone in the vehicle and slumped over the wheel with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at the scene No shots were fired by law enforcement at the scene of the crash.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m. this morning, a 9-1-1 call reported two unidentified men with hooded sweatshirts walking around a neighborhood in Hebron. Troopers from the Salisbury Barrack responded to the area and located the two men walking on Porter Mill Road toward Route 50. They were taken into police custody without incident. They are not being identified at this time police said.

State Police Homicide Unit investigators responded and are conducting the investigation. Crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division responded to process both crime scenes. A gun was recovered in the Toyota Prius.

Maryland State Police from the Eastern Troop responded to both scenes. K-9 and Maryland State Police Aviation Command also responded to assist. Personnel from the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Personnel Assistance responded to set up detours.  Assistance was provided by local, state and federal law enforcement partners.

The trooper, an 18-and-a-half-year veteran of the Maryland State Police, is not being identified at this time officials said.  He was transported to TidalHealth Peninsula Regional in Salisbury for medical treatment of injuries sustained in the shooting.

About Staff Writer

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 [email protected].

View all posts by Staff Writer →