CHESTERTOWN, Md. (AP) — An exchange of gunfire in a home on Maryland's Eastern Shore left one man dead and a sheriff's deputy critically wounded, authorities said Thursday.
Queen Anne's County sheriff's deputies were called to a domestic disturbance at the Chestertown home of James Rich II, 52. Rich's girlfriend, who had been staying at the home, sent her father a text message asking him to call authorities because she and Rich had been in a physical altercation, police said. The father called 911, but when Deputy 1st Class Warren Hogan and another deputy arrived, both Rich and his girlfriend were gone. The woman's father had taken her to the sheriff's office, police said.
After midnight, Hogan escorted the woman to Rich's home to collect some of her belongings and Rich and his teenage son were there. As the woman collected her things, police said she and Rich began to argue, then Rich got a shotgun and fired one shot. He continued walking toward Hogan and they exchanged gunfire. Both were struck.
Investigators are still piecing together a timeline, but it looks like the gunfire exchange was very quick, occurring within a matter of "seconds," Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said.
Rich was taken to a hospital in Chestertown, where police said he died.
Hogan was taken to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, where he is in critical condition after surgery.
"It looks like he's in good spirits," Sheriff Gary Hoffman said at a news conference. "It seems like he wants to be engaged in conversation."
Hogan was wearing body armor, but was hit below the armor, he said.
Hogan was also wearing a body camera, and investigators will review any footage as part of the investigation, police said. Hogan is white, and Rich was black, sheriff's office spokesman retired Lt. Dale Patrick said.
Photos from the scene show police tape in front of a one-story home with Christmas decorations out front, including an inflated Santa Claus atop a chimney and a snowman.