16-Year-Old Suspect Said He ‘Drove At' Baltimore County Officer Amy Caprio: Records

Officer 1st Class Amy Caprio would have been on the force four years in July

What to Know

  • Baltimore County Officer Amy Caprio was killed after responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle in the Perry Hall area.
  • Dawnta Anthony Harris, 16, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
  • The teen told police he was in a vehicle as others burglarized a home, documents say.

A 16-year-old boy who's charged in the death of a Maryland police officer told detectives he had been in the driver's seat of a vehicle while others were burglarizing a home and that he drove at the officer, according to a police document.

Baltimore County police officer Amy Caprio was killed Monday afternoon while investigating a call in the Perry Hall area about a suspicious vehicle, authorities said. She was 29.

Caprio was hit by a dark-colored Jeep and died of trauma, officials said Tuesday. 

A probable cause statement, dated Tuesday, identified the suspect in her death as Dawnta Anthony Harris of Baltimore. The teenager has been charged with first-degree murder. Meanwhile, officials said Tuesday that three other teens had been taken into custody. 

Baltimore County's public safety department tweeted Tuesday morning that the teens are suspects in area burglaries. The department did not say whether the three played any role in the officer's death.

Harris, who was arrested near where a Jeep was found abandoned, told a detective he had been waiting in the driver's seat of the vehicle as other associates of his were in the process of committing a burglary, according to the probable cause statement.

Harris also told the detective that he "drove at the officer," the statement said.

Scott Shellenberger, the state's attorney for Baltimore County, told The Associated Press the teen has been charged as an adult. The Associated Press does not ordinarily identify underage suspects unless they face adult charges.

The records don't list an attorney for Harris, and attempts to people believed to be his family members were not successful. He was held without bond on Tuesday. 

Sources told News4 the teen had a juvenile record of car theft.

The officer's death stunned the quiet, residential neighborhood, said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who lives nearby.

"The community I represent stands united in grief for this fallen police officer, and our hope is that all those involved are brought to justice," Marks said.

Gov. Larry Hogan ordered U.S. and Maryland flags to be flown at half-staff in Caprio's honor when she is laid to rest.

“We are heartbroken to lose a member of Maryland's law enforcement family," Hogan said in a statement. "She bravely made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and security of our citizens, and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for her selfless service."

“The State of Maryland continues to stand beside Baltimore County as they work to bring those responsible for Officer Caprio’s death to justice," he continued.

Baltimore County Police Cpl. Shawn Vinson said the officer went to investigate a call about a suspicious vehicle when she encountered at least one suspect and was "critically injured." He added that the confrontation may have stemmed from a burglary in progress, noting one home on the block had damage to a patio door.

"What exactly happened, we are not sure yet until an autopsy is performed," Vinson said at a news conference Monday. 

On Tuesday, officials said body camera footage shows Caprio was standing in the street when the vehicle headed toward her. She fired her gun once and then was hit by the Jeep.

Events began unfolding Monday afternoon in the leafy neighborhood of single-family homes. It was then that resident Dahle Amendt said he had just settled into his recliner for a rest when he heard a woman's voice outside his house.

"I heard, 'Get out of the car! Get out of the car! Get out of the car!' at least three times, and then a pop," Amendt said.

Amendt said his wife also ran outside and tried to revive the officer, who police say would have been on the force four years in July.

"This is a shock. It's a quiet community. It's just so sad," Amendt said.

The front entrance of the precinct where Caprio served was draped in black on Tuesday. On the street where she was run down, people laid flowers in her memory. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us