OCEAN CITY -- A suspected robber was shot and killed early today by an Ocean City police officer near the Boardwalk and 22d Street after the man allegedly pointed a shotgun at the officer.
Moments before the man was fatally shot near the swimming pool of the Stowaway Motel, Boardwalk and 22nd Street, police said he shot and killed another man during a robbery.
The fatal shooting by the police officer is believed to be the first such incident in the history of the Ocean City Police Department, which dates to the 1930s.
"This is very unusual for Ocean City," said Officer Jay Hancock, a departmental spokesman.
Officer Hancock said an officer, whom he declined to identify, was patrolling the Boardwalk on horseback about 2:40 a.m. when he saw what appeared to be a robbery in an outside corridor of the Stowaway, about 100 to 150 feet away.
The officer heard a shotgun blast and dismounted to chase the gunman.
Minutes later, Officer Hancock said, the officer encountered the suspect near the Stowaway's outdoor swimming pool.
The man with the shotgun advanced on the officer, police said, and after repeated warnings to drop the shotgun, was fatally wounded when the officer opened fire with his service pistol.
Many questions remained unanswered as local police and the Worcester County state's attorney began to investigate.
Officer Hancock said identities of the principals involved in the incident were not being released immediately.
He would say only that the man who was killed by the suspect was not an employee of the Stowaway. He said he did not know if the victim was a guest at the establishment.
Management of the Stowaway refused to comment on the incident.
Officer Hancock said he had no details on any stolen valuables that might have been recovered from the man shot by the police officer.
He also said he did not know how far away the officer was from the suspect when he opened fire or how many shots were fired from the officer's semiautomatic pistol.
The officer was placed on administrative leave, a normal procedure in police shootings, while the investigation is conducted.