Deputy misses re-enactment of his own brush with bullets

April 01, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Deputy Sheriff Edward Wholey didn't know he was shot last week after he stopped a car on a winding, narrow road in West County.

Yesterday, he missed the shooting again.

County police re-enacted the crime for WMAR-TV's Metro Crime Stoppers feature, and Deputy Wholey stopped by with his wife and son to watch the action.

But instead of reliving the experience, he offered to direct traffic away from the scene on Old Mill Road.

A bulletproof vest absorbed two shots aimed at Deputy Wholey by the gunman, who had been pulled over for driving erratically. A third shot passed through the waistline of his shirt and two other bullets missed.

Deputy Wholey, 48, escaped with severe chest bruises. The gunman drove away in a black BMW and remains at-large.

"I didn't even know I was hit," Deputy Wholey said. "I was looking for the shooter up near Fort Meade and another officer came up to me and asked if I was OK. I said, 'I'm fine.' I just wanted to catch the guy.

"The officer then asked what this dirt spot was doing on my jacket," the deputy said. "I said I didn't know. She scratched it and it was a bullet hole."

Yesterday, a colleague, Deputy Ed Smith, played the role of the lucky officer. Eric Scott, a county police officer, played the gunman.

The script was supplied by Deputy Wholey's memory and police ballistics reports.

County police detectives are hoping the short re-enactment, scheduled to be broadcast on Monday, and a sketch of the suspect that will be released tomorrow, will help police write the final chapter of the story.

"I hope it helps someone turn him in," said Deputy Wholey, a 14-year law enforcement veteran. "I hope it happens before this guy shoots someone else."

Deputy Wholey, who said he has been shot at twice before but never hit, plans to return to work on Monday.

Even before the shooting, he said his 5-year-old son, Steven, always made sure his father was protected before leaving for work. "He just checks me to make sure that I have my vest on."

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