Police in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, say there is no public safety threat as they continue to investigate a perplexing incident Monday that may have involved a police cruiser window being shot out as officers looked into the report of a teen “shooting small critters” in the woods.
In an update Monday afternoon, Lt. Jackie Davis, with Anne Arundel County police, said nearby residents can expect a continued heavy police presence in the area of Hilltop Road and Blue Ridge Drive but that detectives do not believe there is any threat to public safety.
The update came a few hours after police asked residents to shelter in place for the report of shots fired.
In the latest update, Davis said it’s unclear if the officer’s window was actually shot out. She told reporters the officer was in a parked cruiser near the perimeter of the area being searched by police when he heard a pop and his back window shattered.
“We don’t know if this shot was purposeful; we don’t know if it was accidental,” Davis said. “We also don’t know if it’s some fluke with the car where the back windshield just cracked. You know, stranger things have happened.”
She said detectives have not recovered a bullet or other projectile.
“Detectives are still actively trying to determine if that police vehicle was shot at, or if it was some type of ridiculous coincidence and a mechanical malfunction with that vehicle,” she said.
The incident unfolded Monday morning after a 911 call from a woman who said she was walking in the woods about 9 a.m. when she said she saw a teen, who appeared to be 14 or 15, wearing a camouflage jacket and carrying what appeared to be a handgun.
When she asked what he was doing, he told her, “Oh, I’m just shooting small critters,” the woman told dispatchers, according to Davis.
Based on the report, “officers saturated the area,” Davis said. The officer whose cruiser window shattered was parked off Cape St. Claire Road near a shopping center and eating his breakfast with the door open when he heard a pop, she said.
Regarding the report of the teen with a gun, Davis said police know who the teen is, but are not identifying him yet.
“Detectives have a very strong lead they are following,” she said.
The incident sparked a shelter in place at two nearby schools, Broadneck High School and Cape St. Claire Elementary School.
Davis said extra police would remain in the area through dismissal of school to ease concerns.