Suspect dead, deputy critical after Eastern Shore shooting

WASHINGTON — A suspect is dead and a sheriff’s deputy is in critical condition after a shooting in Chestertown, Maryland, early Thursday that began as a domestic-violence call.

The Maryland State Police said in a statement that Deputy First Class Warren Hogan, 32, of the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Department, and James Rich, 52, of the 200 block of Edmore Road, in Chestertown, on the Eastern Shore, exchanged gunfire early Thursday. Rich was pronounced dead at a hospital; Hogan is in critical condition at the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

The state police said that Hogan and another deputy went to Rich’s house at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in response to a domestic violence complaint from Rich’s girlfriend. When they got there, both had left. It turns out that the woman’s father had picked her up and brought her to the sheriff’s office.

Hogan went back to the sheriff’s office and took the woman’s statement; then she asked Hogan to go back with her to the house so she could safely get some belongings.

When they got there, Rich had returned, and he and the woman got into an argument, the state police said. Rich went into a back room and emerged with a shotgun, firing a round. He then approached Hogan, and they exchanged gunfire at close range, the state police said.

At a news conference Thursday morning, Dr. Thomas Scalea, of the Shock Trauma Center, said that “a close-range shotgun blast is a devastating injury,” and that Hogan was “awake and talking but clearly critically injured.”

He added, “We are hopeful; we’ll see how things go over the next few days and few weeks.”

Rich’s teenage son was at home at the time of the shooting, the statement said; he wasn’t hurt, but there’s no word on where he is now.

Hogan was wearing a body camera. The state police said in the statement that “at this stage” of the investigation, the footage won’t be released.

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