15-year-old runaway was shot and critically wounded today by a Howard County police officer after the teen allegedly ran into another officer with a stolen car and knocked him down near the community of Lisbon.
The youth was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter to the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore, where he was listed in critical condition with an upper-torso wound from the officer's 9mm weapon.
The two officers involved in the chase and shooting were taken to Howard County General Hospital, where they were treated for unspecified injuries and released.
Besides the wounded teen-ager, police arrested and are holding for questioning two girls who were in the car. Police said they are 13 and 14.
The girls were charged with theft and auto theft and were released to the custody of their parents, according to police. They were charged with stealing the vehicle in which they were found and a credit card that belongs to the stolen vehicle's owner.
A shotgun was also found in the car, but "there was no indication the teen displayed the shotgun," a police spokesman said.
The youth who was wounded was driving a stolen vehicle that police chased and cornered on Md. 144 early this morning. When one of the officers got out of his marked cruiser, the youth allegedly drove the stolen 1985 Toyota 4-Runner into the officer's vehicle and knocked him to the ground. The second police car also was rammed, authorities said.
Sgt. Robert Adams, a police spokesman, said PFC Kevin Meile, a 12-year police veteran, was knocked to the ground. His backup, PFC Charles Walker, who has been a police officer for 19 years, was out of his car and fired one round from his semiautomatic weapon, which struck the youth in the shoulder area.
Adams said he could not provide additional information about the shooting. He said investigators have not determined how far away the officer was from the youth when he shot him. Adams said he also did not yet know the total number of rounds fired by Walker.
The officer fired, Adams said, because he feared for his life and the life of his fellow officer.
Police said the wounded youth was reported as a runaway from his home in Prince George's County in May. The girls in the stolen vehicle also are from Prince George's County, police said.
Police said the 4-Runner, stolen last week from Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, was spotted speeding on Interstate 70 near Md. 97 about 12:15 a.m. near Cooksville.
With Walker and Meile in pursuit, the youth led the officers on a chase of about five miles. The teen-ager left I-70 at Md. 94 and then turned onto Md. 144.
The vehicle was stopped, police said, when Meile got out of his cruiser. The youth then drove the stolen vehicle into the police car and knocked Meile down. That is when Walker fired, police said.
Police said they recovered the single-barreled shotgun from the stolen car along with some tools used to break into and steal cars.