A Maryland state trooper shot and killed a suspected drunk driver who fled a traffic stop along I-95 in Howard County early Friday and dragged a trooper 2,000 feet down the highway, police say.
Julio Cesar Moran-Ruiz, 36, of Baltimore, is the man fatally shot by a Maryland state trooper. Police said there was a delay in identifying him because he didn't have an ID on him.
The trooper was treated at a Baltimore hospital's shock trauma center and released later Friday morning, Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Woodrow W. Jones said. The nature of the trooper's injuries is unclear.
What turned into a fatal police shooting that shut down I-95 for hours started as a seemingly regular DUI enforcement stop near Route 100 in Elkridge, Maryland, police say.
According to Maryland State Police, the trooper was working DUI enforcement around 2 a.m. when he spotted a red Ford Escape weaving across the northbound lanes.
The trooper pulled over the suspected drunk driver, then called for backup, which is typical ahead of a field sobriety test, Jones said.
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Moran-Ruiz showed clear signs he was inebriated when the trooper spoke to him through the driver's side window. He gave officers a false name and refused to get out of the car when asked, police say.
Then, Moran-Ruiz put the vehicle in drive, police said. The trooper tried to grab the keys out of the ignition.
As the trooper reached into the car, Moran-Ruiz accelerated and drove away, police said.
The trooper was dragged alongside the car more than one-third of a mile down the interstate, yelling for the driver to stop. He feared for his life, police said.
The trooper warned Moran-Ruiz that he would shoot, but the suspect refused to stop, Jones said.
While being dragged, the trooper reached for his agency-issued gun and shot Moran-Ruiz.
The car apparently careened into the grassy median. The trooper was thrown the ground then found by another trooper, police say.
Howard County emergency medical personnel pronounced Moran-Ruiz dead at the scene.
Police say they later found multiple alcohol containers and a machete under the driver's seat. No identification was found on him, however.
The officer wasn't wearing a body camera. Jones said the department instead uses an in-car video system.
Footage from the in-car video will be reviewed, Jones said.
Jones said that the force is "committed" to completing both criminal and administrative investigations into the shooting.
Maryland State Police's homicide unit is investigating the shooting, which is standard procedure. Then, the Howard County State's Attorney's Office will review the findings. The state police internal affairs will also investigate.
The extensive investigation shut down I-95 for hours on Friday. Southbound lanes have reopened.
The trooper who fired the lethal shot is a three-year veteran who works for the Waterloo Barrack, police say.
Both troopers involved have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.