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Bail denied for suspect accused of killing man, shooting two detectives in Anne Arundel County

The suspect was already wanted on an unrelated warrant
Joseph Robert Mitchell Willis
Posted at 2:23 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 19:06:07-05

GLEN BURNIE, Md. — The gunman accused of killing a man and shooting two Anne Arundel County Police detectives has been ordered to be held without bail.

Joseph Robert Mitchell Willis, 22, of Pasadena waived his right to appear before a District Judge on Friday.

Police arrested Willis following a manhunt that began Wednesday around 5 p.m. in Brooklyn, when 44-year-old Christopher Lawrence Jones was found shot to death inside a home on Newfield Road.

Police noticed Jones's car missing. About six-hours later Detectives Scott Ballard and Ian Preece found the victim's car, and tried pulling it over near the Baltimore City line at Fort Smallwood Road and Pennington Avenue.

RELATED: Gunman accused of shooting two Anne Arundel detectives arrested

The driver, later identified as Willis shot Ballard. Preece continued chasing and tried to stop Willis by ramming his car, but he was also shot. Willis then got away, prompting police to essentially lock-down the entire neighborhood.

Area schools were forced to close while police searched overnight and executed multiple search and seizure warrants to find the loose gunman.

Late Thursday afternoon, Willis was finally taken into custody at a town home in the 1300 block of River Bank Court. At the time of his arrest, Willis was also wanted on a warrant for violating probation.

Police say Willis and Jones knew each other, but wouldn't say how. It's unclear when Jones was killed, but a roommate last saw Jones on February 2nd or 3rd, and saw the suspect in the house during that time.

Currently Willis is only facing charges of first degree murder for Jones's death and attempted first degree murder for shooting Preece.

According to Anne Arundel County States Attorney, Anne Colt Leitess, the shooting of Ballard happened just beyond the county border in Baltimore City.

Leitess said she will work with Baltimore City and the courts to charge Willis and have that case heard in Anne Arundel County.

Ballard is in critical but stable condition and recently got out of surgery. Preece is listed as stable. Neither officer fired their weapon during the incident.

Throughout the investigation, police made three other drug related arrests.

Inside the home where Willis was found, police arrested Shawn Ethan Taylor, 21, and Zachary Taylor, 23, after finding Cocaine, Marijuana and LSD.

During their search for Willis, police also carried out a search and seizure warrant at a home in the 7700 block of Middlegate Court. There police found evidence of a small Marijuana grow operation as well as suspected Heroin/Fentanyl. Michelle Antoinette Fischer, 42, was arrested and charged.

Police say they're looking into additional charges related to harboring Willis while he was on the run.