ELKTON, Md. (AP) — Officers fatally shot a fugitive couple on a motel balcony Tuesday when they refused to drop their weapons, which turned out to be BB guns that looked like real firearms, authorities said.
Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley identified the pair as Brandon Jones and Chelsea Porter, both 25 and from Dover, Delaware. Shipley said both were wanted on warrants issued by the Delaware State Police for various drug and gun offenses.
No officers were hurt during the shooting at the New Eastern Inn in Elkton, a city of 15,000 about 45 miles northeast of Baltimore, Shipley said.
The couple was originally wanted in connection to an Oct. 18 incident in Dover when Jones fired a round from a handgun in the air after threatening to shoot a 44-year-old victim who was not identified.
Delaware officials had said in a news release that officers found heroin and marijuana, as well as a revolver, rifle and a stolen handgun inside Jones’ home during an Oct. 21 search.
“The Delaware State Police had contacted Maryland State Police yesterday, requesting assistance in the location of these two fugitives,” Shipley told reporters. “And the state apprehension team took that investigation over and tracked them to this location.”
He said uniformed officers from two agencies went to the motel about 10 a.m., knocked on the door of the second-floor room and announced themselves as police officers.
As they shouted at the room’s occupants to surrender, one of the officers saw through a window that a man was approaching the door with what looked like a handgun. He said the officers retreated from the door but the man came out and refused to obey their commands to drop the weapon. The man raised the gun at officers and they fired, Shipley said.
He said the woman came out a few seconds later with a similar weapon that she raised. She was also shot after refusing to drop the weapon, Shipley said.
Shipley said the replica guns found next to the suspects were one BB pistol and an air-powered pellet or BB gun.
Officials with the Cecil County, Delaware, Sheriff’s Office said three of their officers fired their weapons and have been placed on administrative leave, along with a Maryland State Police trooper who also fired.
The shooting brought a large number of police to the area and prompted road closures. Reporters at the scene could see what appeared to be a body on the balcony, covered by a yellow sheet.
Associated Press reporter Randall Chase in Dover, Delaware, contributed to this story.
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