Baltimore County police shot a gunman Saturday morning in Essex — an incident that quickly evolved into a multistate investigation, as Kentucky police said the victim was a suspect in a triple homicide in a rural town there.
On Sunday, police identified the suspect as Jason C. Hendrix, 16, of the 1200 Block of Forrest Circle in Corbin, Ky.
Investigators in Kentucky said late Saturday that Hendrix suspected of killing his mother, father and sister.
"All indications look that way," said Detective William Rose of the Police Department in Corbin, about 90 miles south of Lexington. "Yes, he is a suspect."
On Sunday, Rose told The Sun that early investigations indicated the suspected triple-murder took place Wednesday night at a home in Corbin.
Late Saturday, officials at Union College in Barbourville, Ky., released a statement saying that the school community "was heartbroken by the tragic deaths of Dr. Sarah Hendrix, her husband Kevin, and their daughter Grace. We have lost a member of our family, a wonderful educator, colleague, and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hendrix family at this time."
Sarah Hendrix, was an associate professor of social work at the college.
Baltimore County police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said police have not located the gunman's relatives.
Saturday morning in Essex, county officers shot and killed Hendrix after he crashed a sport utility vehicle into a car and opened fire on officers who had chased him on the Baltimore Beltway from the Woodlawn area, police said. The vehicle had a Kentucky license plate.
Around 4 p.m., county police asked authorities in Corbin to check the address of the gunman, according to The News Journal in Corbin.
An hour or so later, police in Corbin found the three bodies at that address.
Michelle Payne, who lives across the street, said the couple was involved in the local farmers' market. She said Kevin Hendrix was a beekeeper and helped neighbors deal with bee problems.
"They never had any trouble," she said. "They were really quiet and kept to themselves."
Payne said she and her relatives had not seen the family since Tuesday, which was odd because they were frequently outside walking their dog. She said police were asking neighbors Saturday whether anyone had seen the son.
A Baltimore County police officer wounded in the gunfight was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and was in fair condition. He was expected to be released from the hospital Saturday, said police, who said that the round that struck him was stopped by a ballistic vest.
County police spokesman Cpl. John Wachter said a "very complicated" sequence of late-morning events began when Maryland State Police tried to stop a speeding vehicle on the southbound side of Interstate 95 near the Maryland House Travel Plaza in Harford County.
With troopers in pursuit, the green Honda Pilot at one point crossed from the southbound lanes of the highway to the northbound side, Wachter said. State police stopped their pursuit and issued a bulletin about the speeding vehicle.
A short time later, Wachter said, Baltimore County police spotted the Honda in the Woodlawn area. A chase ensued, with the suspect driving east on the inner loop of the Beltway, followed by several county police cruisers.
The chase ended when the Honda crashed into a silver sedan occupied by a man and two 11-year-old girls in a traffic roundabout at Route 702 and Hyde Park Road, near the Hyde Park Station shopping center.
As officers approached the SUV, the driver — armed with a handgun and other weapons — opened fire from inside the car, striking one of the officers, Wachter said. Six officers returned fire, killing the driver.
Police covered the Honda with a shroud as detectives arrived on the scene early Saturday afternoon. Bullet holes were visible in the vehicle's side panels and windshield, and there was a large hole in the rear window.
Wachter said the man and two girls in the sedan were not injured in the crash. They were taken to Franklin Square Hospital for observation and later released.
Witnesses described the chase as police pursued the suspect from the Beltway onto Route 702.
Mike Pivec of Middle River said he was on the Beltway at 11:10 a.m. and noticed the Honda moving at high speed and weaving through traffic. He estimated that well over a dozen police vehicles were in pursuit.
"On Valentine's Day we don't expect this. It caught us by surprise," said Brian Campbell of Perry Hall. He said he was driving in the area when the police vehicles went by "like a flock of sea gulls."