Md. State Police: Trooper Shoots Driver Fleeing Traffic Stop - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. State Police: Trooper Shoots Driver Fleeing Traffic Stop

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SALISBURY, Md.– Maryland State Police say a 23-year-old man was shot and wounded by a state trooper early Tuesday after he fled from a Salisbury traffic stop while holding the trooper inside his car.  

Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley identified the suspect as Harry F. Wyatt-Swift of Salisbury.  He is currently undergoing treatment for injuries at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He is under state police guard at the hospital.  Charges against him are pending and are expected to be filed later Tuesday, Shipley said.

The trooper involved is identified as Trooper First Class Richard Keidel, a five-year MSP veteran. Keidel is assigned to road patrol duties at the Salisbury Barrack, police said.

According to Shipley, the preliminary investigation indicates that shortly before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Keidel was patrolling in a marked police vehicle on Johnson Road near Nevins Place in Salisbury, when he saw a car that was speeding and had a tag light out. Shipley said that as he moved behind the vehicle, the trooper saw the Honda passenger car swerve and almost hit a telephone pole. 

Keidel stopped the car on Johnson Road east of Nevins Place and made contact with the driver and only occupant of the vehicle, who was later identified as Wyatt-Swift. According to Shipley, the trooper smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage and began a DUI investigation. 

Shipley said that after the trooper had Wyatt-Smith step out of his car, he began to demonstrate a field sobriety test he was asking the driver to perform.  The suspect then ran back to his car in an attempt to flee the scene, Shipley said. Keidel reached into Wyatt-Smith's car in an attempt to take his keys, according to Shipley. However, Shipley said the investigation indicates that Wyatt-Swift grabbed Keidel's arm and drove off, with the trooper hanging out the driver's side window. Shipley said the trooper repeatedly told Wyatt-Swift to stop, but the suspect refused to and continued to drive down Johnson Road. 

The police spokesman said that in fear for his life, Keidel fired his department-issued .40 caliber pistol.  Wyatt-Swift was struck in the abdomen and in the side of his face, Shipley said. He added that the suspect then let go of the trooper, who fell to the roadway as the car continued on. 

According to Shipley, Keidel ran back to his patrol vehicle, called in the shooting and proceeded in the direction of the suspect. About a mile later, the trooper found the suspect's car where it had apparently struck a telephone pole support wire and overturned on Johnson Road east of Eastwood Circle. Wyatt-Swift was not in the car, Shipley said.

Troopers and Wicomico County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and began a search for the suspect.  Shipley said that a short time later, Wyatt-Swift walked out of the woods and surrendered.  He was given immediate emergency care and EMS personnel were summoned to the scene, Shipley said. 

Wyatt-Swift was transported by ambulance to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.  He was later transported by ambulance to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. 

Keidel sustained injuries and was treated and released at the PRMC, according to Shipley. The spokesman said that as is procedure in police-involved shootings, he has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues.

The shooting investigation is being conducted by the MSP Homicide Unit, which is procedure in police-involved shootings. Shipley said that upon completion of the investigation, it will be presented to the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office for review.  An investigation will be conducted by the MSP Internal Affairs Unit, which is also procedure. 

State Police officials say a warrant will soon be served on Wyatt-Swift who be facing eight different charges that include attempted first- and second0degree murder as well as first- and second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer.

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