Charles Co. deputies in good condition after shooting at Waldorf home

WALDORF, Md. (AP) — Two Maryland sheriff’s deputies were in good condition Tuesday despite being shot multiple times a day earlier while trying to serve a warrant for a probation violation on an assault charge, a spokeswoman said. The shooter was found dead hours later.

On Tuesday night, sheriff’s deputies identified the suspect as Denzell Nathan Clarke, 28, of Waldorf.

The Charles County Sheriff’s deputies were stable and in good condition “thanks to a bulletproof vest, the officers who were able to get them out of the situation and good doctors and nurses,” spokeswoman Diane Richardson said.

Deputies responded at around 3:30 p.m. Monday to a caller in Waldorf who wanted a man, described as a family member, removed from the house. Additional deputies were dispatched because there were concerns about the man’s mental condition and the danger he might pose, Richardson said. He was said to be experiencing a “mental health episode,” she said, citing the caller.

The family member let the deputies inside, and as they began going upstairs, the suspect came out of a room and opened fire, Richardson said. Two deputies were shot multiple times, but managed to get out of the house and were flown to a hospital for treatment. Their injuries appeared to be serious, but not life-threatening, she said.

The officers returned fire, but it’s not clear yet how many shots were fired or if any of them hit the suspect, Richardson said.

The man then barricaded himself inside the home and deputies were not able to make contact with him, Sheriff Troy Berry told reporters at a briefing Monday evening. Eventually, they used a drone to determine that the man was dead, Richardson said later.

In a news release, the department said Clarke has a “ghost gun,” made from kits sold online. His family was unaware he had a gun.

Officials don’t know if any of the deputies’ rounds struck the man or if he took his own life, she said, noting that determination depends on an autopsy.

The sheriff’s office later tweeted that “officers made entry into the house and the subject was located. He was deceased.”

Berry said the deputies were not wearing body cameras.

Waldorf is an unincorporated community 25 miles (40 km) south of Washington.

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