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State corrections officer arrested, suspended after illegal discharge of weapon

An internal investigator with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections has been suspended after police said he fired a gun illegally and recklessly while intoxicated.

Salisbury police charged Raymond Wesley Wills III, 39, with reckless endangerment, firing a firearm within city limits and an alcohol-related charge. Police said in a statement they discovered Wills at about 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 22 while responding to a report of an intoxicated man displaying a police badge and handgun at America's Best Value Inn, in the 2600 block of N. Salisbury Blvd. in Salisbury.

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Officers arriving at the hotel learned that Wills had left the hotel and was walking southbound on Route 13. Officers followed and said they saw Wills at the intersection of Route 13 and Naylor Mill Road. Police say Wills pointed a handgun upward into the air and fired one shot.

Wills then walked into the parking lot of a Motel 6 and tried to enter the building when police arrested him. Wills "identified himself as a police officer," Salisbury police said, and officers recovered Wills' gun and took a bullet casing into evidence.

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Police say the badge Wills was displaying identified him as a sworn police officer with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

State corrections officials on Friday said Wills, a lieutenant and 17-year veteran of the department, was off-duty during the incident. They said he has been placed on paid suspension pending the outcome of his criminal case. Wills worked in the Intelligence and Investigative Division as a detective, where he often investigated claims of misconduct against corrections officers.

Gerard Shields, a spokesman for the department, said Wills' police powers have been suspended. State police are also investigating the incident, Shields said.

George Strott Jr., Wills' attorney, declined to comment on Friday.

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