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Man dead, Cecil County deputy wounded in Sunday shootout

Police involved in Cecil Co
Jonathan Balchunas.jpg
Posted at 9:38 PM, Jul 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 18:19:36-04

NORTH EAST, Md. — A Sunday afternoon shootout left a 24-year-old North East man is dead and a Cecil County Sheriff's deputy wounded.

It happened around 3:40pm at an apartment in the 100 block of Chesapeake Ridge Lane.

A father called 911 after his son reportedly put a gun to his head saying, “If the cops come, he is going to kill them too.”

Senior Deputy Shumaker and two troopers were first to arrive on scene.

Officials say they could hear arguing inside the apartment and someone mentioning a gun.

All three officers entered the home and immediately came under gunfire.

One trooper shot back, before retreating and taking cover outside the apartment.

It was then, Deputy Shumaker noticed he'd been hit in the left arm.

After some time, the Cecil County Special Response Team responded to clear the home.

The alleged shooter, 24-year-old Jonathan Balchunas, was found dead in the kitchen near a loaded 9mm gun equipped with a red laser that was pointed at the door.

Right now it's unclear which shot killed Balchunas. His body will undergo an autopsy at the Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore, which will make the final determination.

Deputy Shumaker was treated and released from the hospital overnight.

During an interview with detectives, the father said he and his son had been arguing most of the day leading up to the deadly encounter.

Police say the father witnessed his son loading the 9mm gun before the altercation.

Both troopers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.