A shoplifter was shot and killed by an off-duty Baltimore County Police officer after trying to steal laundry detergent from a Giant in Catonsville.
It happened early Tuesday morning a little after 4 a.m.
It started as soon as he walked in, Baltimore County Police say, a shopper had his eye on the detergent.
An officer was working his second job as security at the Giant watched the whole thing.
“He watched the subject as he went through the store and then he watched the suspect exit the store, passing all the working registers, not attempting to make any payment for those products as he walked out of the store,” Officer Jennifer Peach, a spokeswoman with the department, said.
She says a confrontation then escalated outside in the store’s parking lot.
Businesses that prefer to use police officers for arresting powers versus a security firm can do so after applying for a process to acquire permits to have officers there.
“The officer had to close that distance [between the suspect and the store]. The suspect was already in the vehicle when he closed that distance when he stopped him at the driver’s side window,” Peach said.
Then shortly thereafter, the accused thief tried escaping in an older model Lincoln sedan. The officer was then pinned to the getaway vehicle, and dragged more than 100 feet.
“The officer was somehow was dragged by that vehicle as it was fleeing away. He was dragged approximately 108 feet and during that time he was able to access and remove his service weapon and fire it toward the suspect,” Peach said.
At least one of those shots hit and killed the thief, which caused the car to stop.
“Although we are working for the businesses at that time, we still maintain police powers and are able to – if something happens, immediately transfer into police officer status.
They’re reflexes that caused the officer to fire his weapon.
Another person was inside the getaway car.
They were brought in for questioning. According to Peach, the officer wasn’t severely injured and is expected to go on paid leave.
He was not assigned a body-worn camera and wasn’t wearing one at the time.
As for thief, police still haven’t released the suspect’s ID or his motive for the theft.