Harford County Sheriff's Office officials confirmed Tuesday that a man who had been holding his wife hostage in an SUV on a dirt road near a regional park has been killed and the woman was flown to a regional trauma center after being shot.
Police had been negotiating since about 10 p.m. Monday with an armed man near Cedar Lane Regional Park in the Creswell area southeast of Bel Air.
According to the Harford County Sheriff's Office, the situation escalated shortly before 9 a.m.
Command personnel at the scene were notified by the Sheriff's Office's Victim Services Unit that the man, who has since been identified as Luis Arturo Hernandez Jr., 37, of the 9300 block of Perry Hall Boulevard in Perry Hall, was having his wife, Jamie Nicole Campbell, 28, phone family members and begin to say goodbye, the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
In an effort to protect Campbell and prevent Hernandez from taking his own life, members of the Sheriff's Office's Emergency Response Team "were authorized to execute an emergency assault," the statement continued. "They approached the suspect and as they did, shots were fired."
Shortly before 9 a.m., a tactical team moved toward the vehicle, as did an armored police vehicle from the Baltimore County Police Department.
When they did, shots were heard and, a few minutes later, there was an emergency radio dispatch for a gunshot wound at Cedar Lane Park. Later, a Medevac landed at the scene and a bomb squad was brought in.
Aaron Stewart and Edward Hopkins, spokesmen for the Sheriff's Office at the scene, confirmed that Hernandez had died and Campbell was being flown out.
The Sheriff's Office spokesmen said Campbell suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and, after being treated at the scene by Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company paramedics, was flown in critical condition to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. There has been no further update on her condition.
The spokesmen could not say who may have shot whom and as of 1 p.m. Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office still had not made that determination, saying it was continuing its investigation into the shooting.
Hernandez body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy, the Sheriff's Office said.
Earlier, Edward had said via email that details are "limited," but stated that negotiations had been under way with the suspect since 10 p.m. Monday.
As the standoff continued, the Sheriff's Office tactical team was on the scene, along with a variety of other entities, such as crisis negotiators, uniformed deputies and an incident command vehicle.
Hopkins said negotiators had been talking to the man "when he wants to talk." He told negotiators earlier that he had a weapon. As the negotiations continued at that point, however, Hopkins said they did not believe the woman had been injured.
Negotiations continued throughout the night, but attempts to encourage Hernandez to surrender were to no avail.
Hopkins said the situation began Monday, around 8:30 p.m., when Campbell's mother reported her missing.
The woman said she had last seen her daughter earlier in the day, and believed she was running errands. As the day progressed and she didn't hear from her daughter, the woman got worried and began to check places she was supposed to have gone. When she learned her daughter never arrived, the woman contacted police, according to an email from Hopkins, telling them she believed her daughter and Hernandez were together.
According to the Sheriff's Office, investigators also learned the couple had a history of domestic violence
At about 8:30 p.m., using the OnStar navigation system, police began tracking the leased Chevy Traverse that Campbell was driving and found it about 40 minutes later on a dirt road off of Cedar Lane, across from the sports complex near Route 136, Hopkins stated. The sports complex is part of Cedar Lane Regional Park, at the intersection of Route 136 and Cedar Lane, about five miles southeast of Bel Air.
Deputies responded to the area and were warned off by the suspect, Hopkins said. The woman yelled to police her husband had a gun and deputies retreated and began negotiating.
Reporting from the scene by Aegis staff members Matt Button and Bryna Zumer.
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