- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 14, 2006

PERRY HALL, Md. — Thick fog, myriad hiding places and woods created a hide-and-seek scenario for Baltimore County police yesterday morning while they searched for robbery suspects, including one who shot an officer.

Police were looking for a man about an hour after the 7 a.m. attempted robbery of the Super Fresh grocery on Bel Air Road in Perry Hall when the man, who was hiding in a shed behind a house, shot Officer David Garner in the arm and the abdomen.

Officer Garner, the third area police officer to be shot in nine days, was taken by ambulance to the the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was listed in serious but stable condition.

“In the game hide and seek, the advantage goes to the person who hid. … In those circumstances, the officer has a lot going on in a millisecond to be able to keep himself safe and be able to apprehend the suspect,” said Cpl. Michael Hill, a county police spokesman.

The section of the Silver Springs Station neighborhood is dotted with houses, thickets of brush, small stands of trees, and numerous sheds and fences. Because of the dense fog yesterday morning, Cpl. Hill said, the visibility was poor.

When a suspect is hiding, Cpl. Hill said, police are in a very dangerous position. “I come around the corner, you’ve got a clean shot,” he said.

Cpl. Hill said every K-9 officer and his K-9 partner were paired with a tactical officer as they searched house by house and yard by yard.

Ultimately, a dog tracked the suspect to the shed where he was hiding, according to police, who said that’s when the shooting began at 4214 Darleigh Road at 7:50 a.m.

About three hours later, police deployed between six and 12 tear-gas canisters into the shed along with “flash bangs” — sophisticated explosives that create a blinding light and painfully loud explosion designed to stun and disorient the man inside the shed.

Minutes after that, a camera belonging to the Howard County Sheriff’s Department was used to look inside the shed. “That’s when they were able to see he was on the floor and was not moving,” Cpl. Hill said.

Cpl. Hill said police quickly learned the unidentified suspect was dead, although the cause of his death isn’t clear.

On Tuesday, a Maryland State trooper was shot and critically injured in the Woodlawn area of Baltimore County as he and other officers attempted to arrest a suspect in an earlier home invasion and kidnapping.

Trooper 1st Class Eric D. Workman is recuperating at Shock Trauma Center from a gunshot wound in the left armpit.

The suspect in that shooting, Steven Jones, was killed in an exchange of gunfire.

On Wednesday, city police arrested and charged a 24-year-old man in the shooting Dec. 5 of Officer Momodu Gondo, who was shot three times in the back when he arrived home at the end of his shift.

Officer Gondo, who is in serious but stable condition at Shock Trauma Center, identified Collin Hawkins, 24, in a photo lineup, police said. They suspect robbery was the motive for the shooting.

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