Police Shoot Man at BJ’s Wholesale Club in Maryland

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Howard Smith, 33, is in critical condition in the hospital after police shot him at the BJ's Wholesale Club in Columbia, Md., after he allegedly tried to shoplift from the store, News4's Pat Collins reports. (Published Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013)

    Police shot a man accused of brandishing a knife at the BJ’s Wholesale Club in Columbia, Md., Wednesday.

    Howard County police received a report of a man with a knife in the tire center at the store at Columbia Crossing Shopping Center on Snowden River Parkway about 11:05 p.m.

    Howard C. Smith, 33, of Columbia, allegedly pulled out the knife when security guards accused him of shoplifting, authorities told News4's Pat Collins.

    Smith then ran from the store, picked up a stick and tried to board a bus -- smashing the glass door -- but the driver wouldn't open the door, police said.

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    “All I know is the guy tried to get on my bus and I kept it closed,” driver Ronald Griffith said.

    Smith then ran back into the tire center, where a police officer confronted him. When he reportedly refused to drop the knife, the officer shot him.

    Police recovered an open folding knife and a large stick similar to a broom stick at the scene.

    Smith was taken to Shock Trauma, where he is in critical condition. He has faced numerous theft charges over the past few years, and was arrested for an alleged assault in August 2012.

    At the time of the shooting, he was wanted for a probation violation.

    Officer David Sharpe, an 8-year veteran of the force, has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure, authorities said.

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