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Veteran officer on paid leave following shooting

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Published on: Thursday, June 27, 2013

By Donna Broadway

GAITHERSBURG – A 19-year veteran of the county police is on administrative leave after shooting a suspect who suffered non-life-threatening injuries on Sunday.

An alleged domestic incident in Howard County led to the shooting on Quince Orchard Road and Darnestown Road. Howard County Police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said police received a call Sunday about a shot fired at a Columbia home. When police arrived, they determined a shot was fired through the front door of the home but could not locate the suspect. No one in the home was injured.

During the investigation, police received a tip the suspect may be at a home in Gaithersburg, so they contacted Montgomery County police and asked them to follow up on the tip. Howard County police told Montgomery County police the suspect may have a weapon.

Montgomery County police located the suspect at a home on Quince Orchard Road. Police say they followed the suspect until they initiated a traffic stop, where Officer David Delacruz shot the suspect. The chain of events leading from the traffic stop to the shooting are still under investigation, but police said he did not fire his weapon during the confrontation.

Officer Rebecca Innocenti, a Montgomery County public information officer, declined to confirm whether the suspect threatened Delacruz or if there was a physical altercation, but she said officers are allowed to draw their weapons any time they believe their lives or any else’s lives are in danger. Delacruz will remain on paid administrative leave for an unspecified amount of time.

The Howard County incident is classified as domestic because the suspect and someone inside the home knew each other and had a prior relationship. Llewellyn said the suspect does not reside in the Columbia home and the suspect’s home address is unknown. Innocenti declined to disclose the suspect’s exact address.

Llewellyn said the suspect, who is being treated for gunshot wounds to the arm and leg in a county hospital, will not face immediate charges in Howard County, but the county has filed a warrant to detain the suspect that police will enforce if Montgomery County releases the suspect from its custody.

No officers or bystanders were injured in the incident.

Innocenti said any personal information about the suspect and the case will not be released until the suspect is formally charged.

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