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Update: Two Dead After Trooper-Involved Shooting in Salisbury

Posted: Jul 09, 2017 7:05 AM Updated:

SALISBURY, Md. - Maryland State Police investigators say two people are dead after a shootout in the Denny's parking lot just off Route 50 in Salisbury. Police said an off-duty state trooper working security interrupted the shootout and ultimately fired on one of the two suspects.

The two deceased have been identified as 27-year-old Michael T. Ward Jr., and 21-year-old Jaquan M. Griffin, both of Salisbury.  The two men were pronounced dead at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.  

According the preliminary investigation being conducted by Maryland State Police, around 2 a.m. Sunday there were two off-duty Maryland State troopers working security at the 24-hour Denny's on Punkin Court in Salisbury.  Investigators said one of the troopers noticed a large crowd gathering in the parking lot.  After that trooper called for backup from the Salisbury Police Department, multiple shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot.

After the shots were fired, investigators said the second trooper came outside and saw Ward firing a handgun.  Police said that trooper engaged Ward, who turned in the trooper's direction and fired his gun at the trooper while walking toward him. Police said the trooper fired back at Ward.

Investigators said that moments later, Griffin staggered into the restaurant and collapsed on the floor.  Both Ward and Griffin were then taken to PRMC.  Neither trooper was injured during this incident.  

Investigators believe the initial shots in the parking lot took place when Ward was firing at Griffin, who police believe may have returned fire.  Police said a semi-automatic handgun was found next to Ward and a second semi-automatic handgun was found in the parking where police believe Griffin had been.

Police said it is unknown at this time whether Ward was killed by gunfire from the trooper or Griffin.  Police do believe Griffin was shot by Ward.  Both bodies will be taken to the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for autopsies.

Authorities said the trooper who fired is a seven-year veteran of Maryland State Police and has been placed on administrative leave, which is routine whenever a trooper is involved in a shooting.

 

 

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