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Maryland manhunt ends with arrest in woods, 2 officers shot

Police officers give evacuation directs to patrons leaving a bar in the area of the search for a gunman Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, in Fallston, Md. A police officer in Maryland was seriously injured in gunfire Thursday night amid a manhunt for a suspect who had wounded a different officer after firing at police the previous afternoon, officials said. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

FALLSTON, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man was taken into custody early Friday, ending a 39-hour manhunt during which he wounded two Baltimore County police officers in separate shootings and holed up in a wooded area behind a suburban shopping center, authorities said.

David Linthicum, 24, was already on the run when he shot the second officer, a detective, and stole his department-issued vehicle Thursday night, police said.

Officers eventually stopped Linthicum about 20 miles away using spike strips. From there, Linthicum fled into the woods but was surrounded by officers from multiple law enforcement agencies, with a helicopter illuminating the scene from above. Eight hours later and without further injury, they had him in handcuffs, authorities said.

The ordeal began when police responded to a call about a person in distress at Linthicum’s Baltimore County home Wednesday afternoon. While officers were interacting with him, he fired multiple rounds and fled the scene, police said. One officer was hit, hospitalized for treatment and released that night.

Meanwhile, federal and state law enforcement joined the manhunt that would continue throughout the following day and night as Linthicum evaded capture.

Around 9:20 p.m. Thursday, authorities warned residents to shelter in place in the area surrounding Linthicum’s home, saying he had been spotted nearby.

In an update Friday afternoon, officials with the Baltimore County Police Department said the detective, who was patrolling the area in connection with the manhunt, saw Linthicum walking along a road near his house.

When the detective tried to engage, Linthicum allegedly raised a rifle and pulled the trigger, striking the officer multiple times, before driving away in the unmarked black pickup truck.

Interim Baltimore County Police Chief Dennis Delp said early Friday that the detective, who had been wearing a ballistic vest, was in stable condition.

“He’s going to need a significant amount of reconstruction,” said Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician in chief at the University of Maryland Medical System’s Shock Trauma Center, who told reporters outside the hospital Thursday night that the detective was on life-support with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. “He’ll be with us for a while.”

Once Linthicum was surrounded in the woods, officers used several “less lethal” tactics to encourage him to surrender, including flash bangs. He tried to hide in a rocky area, but officers used a helicopter and drones to locate him before he was finally captured at around 5:45 a.m. Friday, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.

“Eventually it culminated in our personnel going hands-on with him and physically, after some resistance, being able to place him into custody,” Gahler said.

Linthicum “sustained no injuries as a result of his arrest,” but he was sent for a medical review “out of an abundance of caution,” the sheriff said.

He was later transferred into Baltimore County Police custody, officials announced Friday afternoon.

“Our community is safer with this individual in custody where he belongs,” Gahler added at a news conference.

Gahler said police found a firearm in the recovered vehicle and Linthicum had ammunition on him when he was arrested. The area was being searched in case he dropped another firearm in the woods.

Harford County schools in the Fallston area were closed Friday. Some Baltimore County schools were also closed Thursday while the manhunt was underway.

Court records show Linthicum pleaded guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute in 2019 and received probation before judgment. Officials said there was no immediate indication drugs were involved in these latest crimes.

When reached by phone Friday morning, a family member of Linthicum declined to comment and quickly hung up.


Skene reported from Baltimore.