Maryland State Police Press Release
UPDATE ON POLICE INVOLVED SHOOTING IN QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY
(CENTREVILLE, MD) – As the police investigation continues, investigators are identifying the suspect who was a walk-off from a pre-release facility and, after arming himself during a break-in of a nearby home, was fatally wounded in the police involved shooting in Queen Anne’s County last evening.
The deceased suspect is identified as Michael J. Schluderberg, 25, who had been serving a three year sentence for assault in the Division of Correction and was currently housed at the Eastern Pre-Release Unit in Church Hill, Md. Before entering prison, his last known address was in Baltimore.
At about 6:00 p.m. yesterday, Maryland State Police from the Centreville Barrack were called to the Eastern Pre-Release Unit after correctional officers found Schluderberg missing during an inmate count. At about the same time, deputies from the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home in the 600-block of Carvel Place Road for a report of a breaking, entering and theft. The homeowner said he had returned from work to find his house had been burglarized and several items, including a handgun and loaded magazines had been stolen. Deputies checking the neighborhood obtained a description of a suspicious man who had been seen around the area earlier that afternoon, which was similar to the description of the inmate walk-off police were also looking for.
At about 7:30 p.m. yesterday, the deputy who had taken the breaking and entering report spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description walking along southbound Rt. 301, about one-half mile north of Rt. 305. He alerted other deputies and state troopers in the area and several units converged on the location. Officers gave repeated verbal commands to the suspect, which he ignored. As a deputy attempted to approach, the suspect turned and fired multiple rounds from a handgun at officers. Police returned fire, but the suspect turned and ran through a soybean field toward a farm about one-half mile away.
The farm owner heard the gunfire on Rt. 301 and saw a man running toward his residence through the field. He secured his family and told them to call 911. The farmer told investigators he then armed himself with a handgun and confronted the suspect as he came out of the bean field. The farmer said the suspect was holding a knife, but dropped it.
Moments later, an officer from the Centreville Police Department arrived at the farm and attempted to convince the suspect to surrender. The suspect repeatedly refused to surrender.
According to the preliminary investigation, the suspect repeatedly told the officer and the farmer he was not going back to jail and they would have to kill him. The suspect began backing down a dirt lane away from the officer, while the officer continued to try to convince him to surrender.
The suspect then suddenly reached behind him in a threatening manner as if he was trying to pull something from his waistband. Knowing the suspect had been armed and had fired at officers and in fear for his life, the officer fired his pistol and wounded the suspect.
The Centreville police officer provided immediate emergency care to the suspect while EMS personnel were summoned. Medics pronounced the suspect dead at the scene.
Maryland State Police crime scene technicians and investigators from the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office spent last night and this morning searching the expansive area where this incident occurred. Police recovered a handgun in the bean field which is believed to be the one stolen from the home on Carvel Place Road. A knife was recovered on the farm where the farm owner first confronted the suspect. Investigators also found an apparent suicide note near the body of the suspect.
No police officers were injured during the exchange of gunfire. A cooperative investigation is being conducted by the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Centreville Police Department and the Maryland State Police. Assistance was also provided by personnel from the Centreville Volunteer Fire Department. Administrative investigations will also be conducted by the police departments whose personnel fired their weapons, which is procedure.
The Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney’s Office investigator was on scene to assist. Once complete, the investigation will be presented to the state’s attorney for review.
Due to the police involved shooting occurring on Rt. 301, the southbound lanes of the highway had to be closed to traffic until the early morning hours of today while the investigation was conducted. Traffic was diverted around the area by a State Highway Administration detour. One southbound lane was opened about 1:00 a.m. and both lanes were opened shortly after 2:00 a.m. today.
The investigation is continuing.
Updated 6/23/12 at 12:48 via updated Press Release from MSP