Man killed, Eastern Shore deputy injured in Chestertown shooting

A 52-year-old man was killed and a Queen Anne's County sheriff's deputy was critically wounded in an exchange of gunfire early Thursday in Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore, authorities said.

A Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Officer was shot Thursday morning in a residence in Chestertown, police said.

Sheriff's Deputy Warren Scott Hogan and James L. Rich II shot each other following a dispute between Rich and his girlfriend at his home in the 200 block of Edmore Road, Maryland State Police said. State police are investigating the incident at the request of the Queen Anne's County sheriff's office.

The woman, whose name police did not release, texted her father about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to say that Rich had been violent toward her and asked him to call police.


When sheriff's deputies arrived at the home, the woman and Rich were not there, authorities said. The woman's father had taken her to the Queen Anne's County sheriff's department himself.

Deputies and the woman's parents escorted her back to the house shortly after midnight to pick up her belongings. They found Rich and his teenage son home. Rich and the woman began to argue, authorities said, and he went to a back room in the house to retrieve a shotgun, police said.


"He came out of the room and fired one round," state police spokesman Greg Shipley said. "He then continued walking toward the deputy and was in close proximity when the suspect and the deputy exchanged gunfire."

"Both were struck by the other's gunfire, according to the preliminary investigation," Shipley said.

Rich was taken to University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, where he was pronounced dead.

Hogan, a four-year veteran of the department, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was in critical condition following surgery, authorities said.

No one else was injured, they said.

The deputy was wearing a body camera during the incident. Officials said any footage will be reviewed by Maryland State Police and won't be immediately released.

Hogan was also wearing protective armor, authorities said, but the shotgun blast hit below it.

He was conscious and talking when he was admitted to Shock Trauma, Dr. Thomas Scalea said, but the injuries could take months or more to heal.


"A close-range shotgun blast is a devastating injury with a huge amount of energy transfer, and that certainly happened to this officer," Scalea said.

He described a "spreading zone" of injuries that result from a shotgun blast. He made a quarter-sized circle with his thumb and his forefinger.

"You see a gunshot wound, and the entrance wound is like that," he said.

Then he held up both hands, widening the circle to about the size of a football.

"You see a shotgun blast, and the entrance wound is like that."

Many sheriff's deputies made the trip to the Shock Trauma to be with Hogan and his family.


"He's a really great guy, and we've been here the entire time with him and his family supporting them, helping them get through this very traumatic event," Queen Anne's County Sheriff Gary Hofmann said. "His family's having a really tough time with this, as is the law enforcement family and the community."

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis also made an appearance.

Gov. Larry Hogan, who is not related to the deputy, said he and his wife were "sending our prayers" to the deputy.

"As governor, I have been moved countless times by our police and first responders who place themselves in harm's way willingly and bravely to make our communities safer," the governor said in a statement.

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Deputies served a protective order to Rich at the home in July 2015, Hofmann said. A search warrant was being executed at the house Thursday.

A Queen Anne's County sheriff's deputy and a Centreville police officer were shot to death at an Eastern Shore trailer park in 2001.

Francis Mario Zito, a 43-year-old Pennsylvania native, was convicted the following year of first-degree murder.


In February, two longtime Harford County sheriff's deputies were shot to death at a busy shopping center in Abingdon.

Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.