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Mount Airy man charged with attempted murder of officer after Howard police say he shot at armored vehicle

A Mount Airy man has been arrested after Howard County police say he shot at the driver’s side windshield of an armored vehicle Thursday while police approached his home to serve a search warrant.

Karl Tomanek, 34, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and multiple firearms charges, police said Friday.

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A Mount Airy man has been arrested after Howard County police say he shot at the driver’s side windshield of an armored vehicle Thursday while police approached his home to serve a search warrant. (Courtesy photo)
A Mount Airy man has been arrested after Howard County police say he shot at the driver’s side windshield of an armored vehicle Thursday while police approached his home to serve a search warrant. (Courtesy photo)

As police approached Tomanek’s residence on Shaffersville Road to serve a search warrant in an April burglary, Tomanek exited the home with a shotgun and fired two shots at the driver of the vehicle, police said. Bulletproof glass prevented the shots from striking the officer who was driving the armored vehicle, according to police.

Officers did not return fire after Tomanek fired the shots, police said, and were able to use verbal commands to take Tomanek into custody. No on was injured.

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“Our community almost lost an officer [Thursday],” Howard Police Chief Lisa Myers said in a statement. “If not for the protection of the armored vehicle, this event would have ended very differently. After taking fire, these officers were able to resolve this very dangerous situation without injury, thanks to their outstanding training and judgment, as well as the critical equipment that saved their lives.”

According to Howard County police spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn, before any search warrant is served on an occupied building, the investigating officer must complete a risk assessment form.

“A commander reviews the form and may authorize use of tactical resources (including the armored vehicle) based on the risk factors. Some of those risk factors include known possession of weapons, criminal history and/or prior violent behavior,” she said.

Police were at the Mount Airy residence Thursday after they identified Tomanek as a suspect in an April burglary in which $25,000 of equipment was stolen.

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After Tomanek was detained and police searched the house, they found multiple firearms and ammunition. Police also said they found evidence linking him to the April burglary.

Tomanek is being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 10 in Howard County District Court.

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