A Baltimore County police officer shot a suspect after a traffic stop in Essex early Thursday morning, the department said.
The officer had stopped a vehicle on suspicion of "narcotics activity" at Old Eastern and Harrison avenues about 2 a.m., when a passenger got out of the car, police said. The man began to walk toward Eastern Boulevard, then stopped, police said. The driver turned right onto Harrison Avenue and pulled the car parallel to the officer's patrol car, police said.
During an interaction with the officer, the man who had gotten out of the car "suddenly placed his hand into his waistband area and turned toward the officer," police said. Believing he was reaching for a weapon and fearing for his life, police said, the officer shot the man at least once.
He was taken to a hospital, where he is expected to survive. His condition was unknown.
Investigators said they initially found no weapon at the scene. After executing a search warrant, police said they found a loaded handgun in the car. Drugs were also found in the car, police said.
The other suspect in the car was arrested, and the vehicle was towed from the scene, police said. The second suspect was not identified.
The officer, who has not yet been identified, will be placed on administrative status during the investigation, police said.
Investigators have also obtained surveillance video of the incident from a nearby business. The case remains under investigation by the Homicide Unit and will be reviewed by the Baltimore County State's Attorney.