A Queen Anne's County deputy sheriff shot a man he said was attacking a fellow deputy with a metal rod during a traffic stop yesterday morning on the Kent Narrows Bridge, authorities said.
James T. Melvin, 21, of Grasonville was shot once in the abdomen by Deputy Brian Isaac, according to Maryland State Police.
Melvin was in critical condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Cpl. Morris Jones Jr., 30, who was hit in the head with a bar from a dumbbell, was in fair condition at the Shock Trauma, authorities said.
According to state police, Jones -- a six-year veteran of the sheriff's department -- stopped Melvin about 10:50 a.m. as he pushed a bicycle on the shoulder of U.S. 50 at the Kent Narrows Bridge. Walking on the shoulder of a bridge is illegal, police said.
When Isaac arrived to assist, he saw Melvin hitting Jones on the head with the metal rod, he told state police. Isaac said he told the man to drop the weapon. Fearing for Jones' life, Isaac fired one round from his pistol, he told investigators.
Isaac then summoned medical help for both men, state police said.
Isaac, 32, who is also a six-year veteran of the sheriff's department, has been placed on routine administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, said Lt. Bud Frank, a state police spokesman.
Queen Anne's County Sheriff Charles Crosley requested state police to investigate the shooting, Frank said.
The results of the preliminary state investigation will be forwarded to Crosley. The Queen Anne's County state's attorney will determine whether the shooting was justified, authorities said.
Melvin remained under police guard last night, police said. Traffic on U.S. 50 was detoured for about three hours.