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BaltCo officer shot by Harford deputies

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Posted at 6:56 PM, Apr 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 06:50:31-04

A Baltimore County Police officer was shot by Harford County sheriff’s deputies Thursday afternoon following a barricade situation in which he fired his gun at the deputies, according to the sheriff's office.

Officer 1st Class James L. Ward, a 19-year veteran of the county police department, will be suspended without pay, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said in a statement released Thursday night.

Harford deputies arrived on the scene of a home in Bel Air for a report of a suicidal person shortly after noon. Ward, 42, was reported to be drinking heavily and had fired gun shots inside the home during a domestic dispute. There were no injuries as a result of those gun shots, the sheriff's office said.

After several hours, as deputies tried to get Ward to leave the home and peacefully surrender, Ward allegedly shot multiple rounds in the direction of deputies who were inside the sheriff’s office’s tactical rescue vehicle. Fearing for their safety, two deputies fired at Ward, injuring him, police said.

Ward then left the home and was arrested.

Johnson said felony charges will be filed by Harford County.

“I am shocked and saddened at the actions of one of our officers this afternoon," Johnson said in the statement. "I am thankful that none of the first responders and police personnel who handled this call were physically injured. We hope that the Baltimore County officer involved in this incident receives the medical help he apparently needs so desperately.”

Ward was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where his injuries were considered serious but not life-threatening. 

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