Officer who shot man in Columbia BJ's identified

The Howard County Police officer who shot a man shot inside a Columbia BJ's Wholesale Club Wednesday was identified by police Friday as Pfc. David Sharpe.

Sharpe, an eight-year veteran of the police force assigned to the southern district patrol, has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure while an investigation is conducted.

Howard Carvel Smith, 33, of the 5500 block of Harpers Farm Road in Columbia, was shot inside BJ's Tire Center in the 9100 block of Snowden River Parkway, after police said he refused to drop a knife. Police said he initially pulled the knife on store security guards after he was approached about shoplifting. 

On Thursday, police said there was an open warrant out for Smith during the time of the shooting. Police would not release details about the open warrant.

Smith remains in critical condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

According to police, they received a call at 11:05 a.m. Wednesdy about a man wielding a knife in the automotive section of BJ's Wholesale Club. 

Police said Smith was first confronted by security guards in the main building of BJ's for allegedly shoplifting. That's when Smith pulled out a knife and threatened the guards, according to police.

Police said Smth then ran from the store through the main entrance and across a street toward a Howard County Transit bus stop, where he tried to force his way onto the bus using a stick and knife. Police said the bus driver kept the door closed. 

Smith then ran into BJ's tire center, which is located on the side of the building and has a separate entrance, according to police. It was there that he was confronted by police. Police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn would not comment on whether Smith made an aggressive move toward the officers before he was shot.

Police said an open folding knife and a large wood stick, similar to a broom stick, were recovered at the scene of the shooting in the tire center.

Police said Smith went to the wholesale club with two acquaintances, but that they were not with him when he was questioned by store security guards. Police later interviewed them before they were released.

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