Police seek suspect in shooting of off-duty officer in Overlea

Neighbors described a large, raucous party that spilled into the front and back yards of an Overlea home, causing an off-duty Baltimore County police officer to stop his car before he was shot early Sunday morning.

"We heard a bunch of laughing. It was a whole party down there," said Zach Tawney, who lives several doors down from a home in the 700 block of Dale Avenue, where he and other residents said they spotted boisterous guests gather.

Tawney said he ignored the noise until he awoke to gunshots about 3:20 a.m., and called 911.

Police said the officer was struck twice by a man from the crowd who fired into the officer's vehicle.

On Monday, detectives had not identified a suspect in the shooting, nor did they release a possible suspect description. Police do not believe the officer was targeted.

The officer had stopped near the intersection of Dale Avenue and Danville Road when he encountered a large group of people blocking the street and attempted to drive past, police said.

The officer, who will not be identified for safety reasons, a police spokeswoman said, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and was released the same day.

Tawney said he heard "a boom" and "everyone just scattered" from a home in the 700 block of Dale Avenue.

A person who answered the door at the same home said he did not live at the residence and that none of the residents was home Monday. Reached by phone, the property owner did not want to comment publicly.

Tawney said other neighbors have complained that the shooting is an example of the community's decline, but Tawney said, "I think this neighborhood is pretty good."

He said he's never known any other violence in the neighborhood.

On Twitter, several people tweeted about the party and the Dale Avenue address and then about the shooting, including one user who said, "Legit 15 cop cars marked/unmarked scattered all up and down belair road from kingsville to overlea."

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police union posted a Facebook message shortly after the incident praying for a "speedy recovery" for the officer.

This is the second time this year a Baltimore County officer has been injured in a shooting. A bullet grazed an on-duty officer's leg Wednesday as she attempted to restrain a prisoner who tried to an officer's gun while undergoing medical treatment at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.

The suspect, Brian Dargan, who has been arrested in connection with a Towson burglary, was later charged with attempted murder and escape.

Earlier this month, another officer suffered minor injuries when a teenager in a stolen minivan allegedly attempted to flea from the officer after a traffic stop in Towson. Police said the teen attempted to back over the officer to get away. The officer was treated and released from Greater Baltimore Medical Center the same day. Antonio Rashad Green, 16, was charged with attempted second-degree murder, theft of a vehicle and additional counts.


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