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Howard County jury finds man guilty of attempted second-degree murder after gunfire exchange with Baltimore County police

A 35-year-old Baltimore man was found guilty by a Howard County jury of attempted second-degree murder after fleeing from Baltimore County police officers and firing shots at them in Elkridge last year.

Justin Lee Buchanan was also found guilty by the jury of first-degree assault, weapons violations and various traffic offenses. He will be sentenced Oct. 8.

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“Mr. Buchanan’s reckless and dangerous behavior in fleeing from police and then, later, firing shots at law enforcement not only endangered the lives of responding officers, but also put the community, as a whole, at risk,” Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson said in a news release. “[Monday’s] verdict brings justice and a sense of relief to many; knowing the defendant is being held accountable for his actions and will no longer be a threat to our communities.”

Buchanan’s attorney, listed in online court records as John Cox, did not respond to requests for comment.

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Baltimore County Police said on May 21, 2020, officers were in Lansdowne searching for Benjamin Lemon who was wanted for a shooting in the county two days earlier.

Lemon hopped in the rear passenger seat of a black 2014 Acura RX that was being driven by Buchanan.

Officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop and Buchanan fled, police said, and officers started to pursue them from Baltimore County into Howard County.

Just before 2:30 p.m., multiple shots were fired from the car toward the officers who returned fire and sought cover in the 5700 block of Furnace Ave. in Elkridge.

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Buchanan, and the front seat passenger Kevin Tyler Kelly, 26, were taken to Shock Trauma in critical condition. Lemon was not injured and was taken into custody for the separate shooting. No officers were seriously injured.

Investigators recovered a handgun at the scene as well as multiple used cartridges inside the Acura. Buchanan’s DNA was also later found on the gun.

In 2014, Buchanan was convicted of a felony possession with intent to distribute and in 2010 was convicted of unlawful possession of a regulated firearm, police said, making it illegal for him to be in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

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