Maryland State Police: Trooper shot in Wicomico County; suspect dies of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound

A suspect wanted in the shooting of a Maryland State Police trooper Monday night died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound while evading police pursuit, according to a news release from the state police.

Maryland State Police identified the trooper Friday as Sgt. Brooks Phillips, who’s worked as a trooper for more than 18 years and is currently assigned to the Easton Barrack. He was treated for multiple gunshot wounds at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional in Salisbury and later discharged.


Phillips is now on administrative leave.

The suspect, Keiford Lee Copper, III, 23, of Trappe, was driving a Toyota Prius March 6 when a Phillips stopped the car on U.S. 50 near the Vienna Scale House in Wicomico County.


During the traffic stop, Copper brandished a firearm and fired at the Phillips, striking him several times, police said. Phillips returned fire. Cooper and two other occupants in the vehicle were not struck. Cooper fled the scene, traveling eastbound on Route 50, according to the release.

The two other occupants in the car were later taken into police custody.

Shortly after 10 p.m., officers from the Delmar Police Department located the suspect vehicle in the area of eastbound Route 54 and Providence Church Road in Delmar. Officers followed the vehicle to the 600 block of Elizabeth Street, a dead-end residential street in Delmar.

The driver, later identified as Copper, attempted to turn the vehicle around. He hit the curb, crashed into two vehicles and came to rest after hitting a tree, MSP said. Police surrounded the vehicle and observed Copper alone in the vehicle and slumped over the wheel with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. No shots were fired by law enforcement at the scene of the crash.

Breaking News Alerts

As it happens

Be informed of breaking news as it happens and notified about other don't-miss content with our free news alerts.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, troopers from the Salisbury Barrack responded to a 911 call that reported two unidentified men with hooded sweatshirts walking around a neighborhood in Hebron. There, the troopers located the two men walking on Porter Mill Road toward Route 50. The men were taken into police custody without incident.

An investigation is ongoing, state police said.