By Justin Fenton
11:17 AM EST, January 31, 2012
A man pulled over on Interstate 95 early Tuesday morning was able to flee in a Baltimore County police cruiser before being fatally shot by officers just inside the city line, officials said.
The man’s identity was not immediately released.
UPDATE: The suspect was identified Tuesday night as Monpreet Chona, 36, of Halethorpe.
At a news conference, Baltimore Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the incident unfolded in the early morning hours when the man refused to pull over for operating his vehicle without headlights and crashed near an exit for Interstate 695.
The man “began to engage the officer in a fight, and the suspect told the officer he had a gun and would shoot the officer,” Guglielmi said. The man was able to flee in the officer’s cruiser, which police tracked to a Motel 6 on Caton Avenue, just across the county boundary in southwest Baltimore's Violetville neighborhood.
As the officers arrived at the motel, they saw a dark-colored SUV speeding out of the parking lot, Guglielmi said. That vehicle was pulled over, but a passenger — believed to be the initial suspect — jumped into the driver’s seat and again fled from officers.
Investigators are questioning three others who were inside the SUV. It is not believed that they were carjacked by the suspect, but Guglielmi said police were “examining the relationship between them and the suspect.”
Guglielmi said Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County officers found the vehicle in the 3400 block of Annapolis Road, where the suspect was shot multiple times by officers from both jurisdictions.
The man was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Baltimore County officials declined to answer questions about the incident, including why officers were pursuing the vehicle, how the officer lost his cruiser, and who the names of the officers involved in the shooting. Guglielmi said three county officers discharged their weapons.
Anne Arundel County police spokesman Justin Mulcahy confirmed that one Anne Arundel officer discharged his weapon at the suspect, but referred additional questions to city police.
Guglielmi said no weapons were recovered from the suspect or his vehicles, but police found a hammer in the SUV.
City police officers did not discharge their weapons, Guglielmi said, but homicide detectives from the agency are investigating the case. Homicide detectives investigate all police-involved shootings.
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