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News Maryland Baltimore Crime Beat

Suspect in state police-involved shooting still at large

A manhunt continued Thursday for a suspect who rammed and drove over a Maryland State Police trooper's vehicle in Salisbury, an incident that prompted a lockdown at nearby Salisbury University.

Police shot at the suspect but it is believed that he was not struck by gunfire. Salisbury University officials lifted the lockdown at the Eastern Shore campus at 12:15 a.m. Thursday and said that students sheltering in academic buildings were escorted to their dorms or cars by police.

The suspect wanted in connection with the incident was identified by police as Edwin Lamont Fletcher, 31, of Salisbury. He is approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, according to Maryland State Police.

An undercover task force was investigating Fletcher, who was wanted on a warrant for drug felony charges, Maryland State Police said. That task force, including state police, Salisbury police and Wicomico County Sheriff's deputies, observed Fletcher and another person in a Dodge Ram pickup in a parking lot on Market Street in Salisbury at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to state police.

Surrounded by police, the driver — believed to be Fletcher — "accelerated the truck [and] rammed head on into a trooper's car," police said. The Ram accelerated again, this time driving over the state police cruiser with two troopers and a Wicomico County sheriff's deputy inside. Police then fired at the truck, and the Ram sped away from the scene. Officers found the abandoned truck on Camden Avenue.

The troopers and deputy in the car struck by the Ram were injured, and all three were treated at Peninsula Regional Medical Center and released.

Authorities did not release the identities of the Salisbury, Wicomico and state police officers who fired at Fletcher, saying the three work undercover in narcotics and gang units.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit was conducting an investigation early Thursday. No officers were injured by gunfire.

Fletcher now faces additional charges, including multiple counts of first- and second-degree attempted murder and assault. On Thursday, police from multiple law enforcement agencies were searching throughout Wicomico County for Fletcher and surrounding counties have been notified to be on the lookout for him.

In a statement, university officials said that no signs of the suspect were found during a sweep of the campus, which is about a mile and a half from where the incident took place. The campus dorms were locked overnight with officers patrolling outside, but university officials said classes would begin normally on Thursday.

"The campus is back to normal," said university spokesman Richard Culver. He added: "Obviously we're going to stay on the alert."

The incident is the third Maryland State Police officer-involved shooting this month, and the second in Salisbury. On March 18, another man was fatally shot by state troopers outside the Salisbury Barrack after authorities said he struck and dragged a trooper with his car while trying to flee.

Fletcher's criminal history includes narcotics distribution convictions in 2000 and 2002 and a resisting arrest conviction in 2011, in addition to other arrests in which charges were not pursued.

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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