Four armed and dangerous thieves are at large and another is dead after a burglary at a gun store in Rockville, Maryland.
Police are actively searching the area around United Gun Shop, near Randolph Road and Parklawn Drive, and ask anyone who spots suspicious activity to call 911 immediately. Expect closures in the area of Randolph Road at Loemanns Plaza for an investigation, police say.
"Be very cautious. For those who are taking their kids out, we have officers still in the area," Officer Marcus Jones said. "We will be able to respond very quickly if anyone has those concerns."
The chaos erupted early Thursday morning when the culprits rammed a stolen car into the window of the storefront and stole a number of guns, police say.
Police received a 911 call about 2:30 a.m. Thursday and rushed to the parking lot of the United Gun Store.
When the officer arrived, the suspects crashed into the police cruiser. The officer then pulled out their weapon and fired into the suspects' car.
The suspects' vehicle was damaged but the group continued to flee on Randolph Road, police said. They drove a few blocks before the vehicle broke down.
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Four of the suspects ran away, according to police. Police said the suspects are armed, but police have not yet released a description.
“We are working under the assumption that it is a high possibility they may be armed,” Montgomery County Police Capt. Tom Jordan said.
A fifth suspect was found in the vehicle, dead, police said. They do not know whether the person died from a gunshot wound or the crash.
Police centered their investigation on two crime scenes and searched the area with dogs. Officers recovered three stolen handguns near the getaway car and found a bag of guns in the backyard of a home nearby.
“To hear that guns were found four houses down from me in their backyard is very creepy,” Rockville resident Stacy Zayas said.
It's not the first time United Gun Shop has been targeted for theft. In March 2017, an alarm sounded at the shop as two people smashed display cases and took weapons.
Howard County police are investigating a similar crime at Fox's Firearms which occurred Wednesday. Thieves drove a stolen vehicle through the front of the store and stole guns. It's not known if the break-in at Fox Firearms and the United Gun shop are connected.
Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.