ROCKVILLE, Md. - An attorney representing the gun shop owner who shot at an undercover Montgomery County police officer asked for Wednesday’s bond hearing to be postponed, so he could speak with the States Attorney’s Office about a new motion he filed, shedding a different light on what police say happened early Tuesday morning.
Montgomery County police arrested the co-owner of Engage Armament in Rockville for shooting at an officer who was working in an undercover vehicle. The officer was not hit, but two bullets did strike the officer’s vehicle. The shooting comes amid concerns over recent gun shop burglaries in the region.
Andrew Raymond, 42, was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and use of a firearm in a violent crime/felony.
The new motion filed on Wednesday sets a pretty serious stage, saying 48 hours prior to Raymond’s arrest, he had been warned by police of a "possible impending attack on his store by a highly organized gang or domestic terrorist group."
The ATF confirmed they are investigating a string of recent gun shop burglaries and attempts in both Montgomery and Anne Arundel Counties.
At around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Montgomery County Police said during a proactive check in an unmarked cruiser, their officer began driving away to disengage when he was shot at by Raymond, who police said was running toward the officer, reaching for his waistband.
Raymond’s Attorneys said that the plainclothes officer, in the unmarked vehicle, never switched on his emergency lights to identify himself when he first saw the shop owner.
Attorneys claim Raymond held his hands up at one point, signaling for the driver to stop, but they argue that surveillance video stills show that the officer’s SUV appeared to accelerate right toward Raymond. That’s when attorneys claim the business owner reached for his gun, allegedly jumping out of the way.
The motion also says this shooting happened just two days after Raymond called police to report a suspicious sports SUV appearing to be watching his business on Dec. 4.
Attorney David Martella said Raymond did everything right and believes this was an incident of miscommunication.
"The police officer probably didn’t understand that Andy Raymond was a good guy," Martella told FOX 5 after the postponed bond hearing. "Andy Raymond didn’t understand that the person in that car was a good guy and there was this unfortunate incident that happened, but I can’t wait to have the good people in the state’s attorney’s office get a look at all the evidence in this case."
"…if they ever see a suspicious vehicle in the area, call the police. Have us respond out there and stay on the phone with us while we are responding. Don’t take the action into your own hands of protecting property," said Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Nicholas Augustine the day of the shooting.
Police did not comment on the new information after FOX 5 reached out. The States Attorney’s Office is also not commenting at the moment.
Another bond hearing is slated for Thursday at 1:30 p.m.