Westminster police shot a man who allegedly pointed a rifle at them Friday.
Officers with the Westminster Police Department responded to East Green Street in Westminster a few minutes after 5 p.m. Friday in response to reports of a man walking on the railroad tracks with a rifle, according to Westminster Police Chief Thomas Ledwell.
They approached the man and spoke with him. At some point in the conversation, he allegedly pointed the rifle at them. Officers opened fire, shooting him, Ledwell said.
In a news release late Friday night, Westminster police identified the man as Thomas Charles Henson, 29, of Westminster. He was shot three times, according to the release.
Medics took Henson to the Carroll County Agricultural Center, where he was flown out by helicopter, Ledwell said. He was alive at the time he was flown out, Ledwell said, but he did not know Henson’s medical condition after that point.
A rifle was visible at the scene, lying in the grass near a tree behind the brick building at 6 E. Green St. Ledwell said it was the rifle involved in the incident.
Henson was known to at least some of the responding officers, according to the release, which does not elaborate on the context of their familiarity.
No officers were injured, the release states.
The five officers involved were interviewed by members of Maryland State Police, as is protocol when an officer shoots someone. The officers will be placed on administrative duties or leave while state police lead the investigation into the shooting. Police did not release the officers’ names Friday.
Ledwell said police first evaluated whether medical treatment was needed.
“As soon as the scene is secured, we separate the police officers, make sure that the evidence is all gathered,” he said in an interview at the scene Friday. “There is typically a criminal investigation that is done first. We do have a [memorandum of understanding] with the Maryland State Police that they would do the criminal investigation in an officer-involved shooting with our agency, which is what’s occurring here.”
Once Maryland State Police completes the criminal investigation, the evidence will be presented to the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine if any charges are appropriate.
Police did not release Friday evening the identity of the man who was shot. A news release with more detailed information would come later, police said.
This is the second shooting in Carroll County in two days, after a man opened fire on his estranged wife and her neighbor, killing them both outside their Mount Airy homes Thursday. He killed himself after a standoff with police at his Gaithersburg home.