- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2006

WOODLAWN, Md. — A Maryland State Police trooper was in critical but stable condition last night after being shot yesterday while trying to arrest a suspect in a nearly week-old home invasion and abduction.

Trooper 1st Class Eric D. Workman, 36, was hit in the left armpit as he started up a flight of stairs at about 5 a.m. inside a house in Baltimore County. Police said a gunman appeared at the top of the stairway and opened fire on Trooper Workman and members of the Baltimore Warrant Fugitive Task Force.

Officers returned the fire, killing Steven T. Jones, 38, of Baltimore, said Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman. He said Jones had an extensive criminal history and court records showed arrests dating to at least 1986, including drug and theft charges.

Trooper Workman was put on life support at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, said Dr. Thomas Scalea, the center’s physician in chief. Trooper Workman, who was wearing a ballistic vest, was struck by a bullet that went through his left chest and into the left side of his abdomen, damaging his left kidney, left lung and the left side of his spleen.

Dr. Scalea said Trooper Workman underwent surgery early in the morning to stop the bleeding in his abdomen and again early in the afternoon to stop bleeding in his lungs and chest. Surgeons also had to remove the spleen, which had been damaged in an on-duty accident in 1998.

“This is not over by a long, long shot,” Dr. Scalea said. “We’ve got to get him through the next hours and days.”

Police said Jones had fled an Eldersburg home Thursday after the home invasion. Two men had burst into the home, restraining the homeowner’s son, a daughter and the daughter’s fiance with handcuffs and duct tape.

When the homeowner’s other son, 25, came to the house, one of the men handcuffed him and forced him at gunpoint to go to a check-cashing and bail bonds business in Randallstown where the victim worked. Relatives of the victim notified Baltimore County police, who rescued the victim and arrested Ronald J. Presco, 36, of Baltimore.

The second man fled before state police arrived.

State police had obtained an arrest warrant for Jones, charging him with 15 criminal counts, and contacted the task force for help in trying to find him. When they arrived early yesterday at the Woodlawn house, they knocked at the door and the owner let them in, state police said. The officers were told Jones was upstairs and they had begun to head up the stairs when the shots were fired.

It had not been determined how many shots were fired. Another trooper who is a task force member fired his weapon, as did at least one other task force member, state police said.

Police found a handgun at the scene. They were not sure of the relationship between Jones and the owner of the house, but said they did not think Jones lived there.

Trooper Workman was treated extensively at Shock Trauma in 1998 after a car struck him along the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, sending him flying 60 feet and into another trooper. Dr. Scalea treated Trooper Workman then and said yesterday, “I can’t tell you how sorry I am to be in this position again.”

Col. Thomas E. “Tim” Hutchins, the state police superintendent, called Trooper Workman “one tough trooper” and said he was known for his “dedication and tenacity.” Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. joined Col. Hutchins at the hospital.

Trooper Workman has been a state trooper since 1997 and has been highly decorated, Col. Hutchins said. He is assigned to the criminal investigation section of the Westminster barracks.

He has a brother who is a police officer in Fairfax County.

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