A Myersville, Md., man was in critical condition Monday morning at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after he pointed his gun at two police officers and the officers fired their weapons, a hospital spokesperson said.
The incident occurred at about 1 a.m. at the park and ride at Mapleville Road and Interstate 70, authorities said. The park and ride is between Smithsburg and Boonsboro.
Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore said the man, James Jacob Jardina, 45, was shot at least twice, in the upper torso and hip areas. He had surgery earlier Sunday morning, Mullendore said.
The two officers who fired their weapons, a deputy and a Maryland Natural Resources Police officer, were placed on administrative leave, which is customary when officers are involved in shootings, Mullendore said. He would not release the officers’ names.
Mullendore said both officers fired their weapons, but he did not know whether Jardina was hit by gunfire from both officers’ weapons. He said he did not know how many times the officers fired their weapons.
Police do not yet know whether Jardina fired his handgun, which was loaded, Mullendore said.
“But he definitely pointed it at the officers,” Mullendore said.
“We are not seeing anything that the officers have done anything incorrectly or anything like that, but we certainly have to complete the investigation before we can validate that,” Mullendore said in a phone interview Sunday morning.
Concerning whether Jardina was attempting a police-assisted suicide, Mullendore said, “that’s what I’m thinking, but until we complete the investigation and actually get to check out whether he fired his weapons, other things, and get to talk to him, we probably won’t know for sure. It’s purely speculation at this point that it could have been that,” Mullendore said.
Lt. Art Windemuth, spokesman for Maryland Natural Resources Police, said one of its officers was involved in the incident and that officer is on administrative leave. He referred any other questions to the sheriff’s office, which is the lead agency in the incident.
Washington County Emergency Services, also known as the 911 center, received a call at 12:45 a.m. Sunday that Jardina was on the phone with his wife and was threatening suicide, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
At the time of the 911 call, Jardina was reported to have three firearms in his pickup truck, according to the news release.
A lookout was issued for Jardina, who was driving a green 2004 GMC 2500 pickup, police said.
A Natural Resources Police officer spotted the pickup at the Mapleville Road park and ride at 12:56 a.m., ran the tag, and two deputies responded to the park and ride, according to Mullendore and the news release.
One deputy went to one entrance of the park and ride, while the other deputy and the Natural Resources Police officer went to the other entrance, Mullendore said.
“As they approached, he started to back out and leave,” Mullendore said. “When he saw officers at both ends, he stopped and got out of his truck.”
Jardina approached a deputy and the Natural Resources Police officer with a handgun, shots were fired and Jardina was hit by gunfire, according to the news release.
Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services treated Jardina at the scene, Mullendore said. A Maryland State Police helicopter landed on Md. 66 and flew Jardina to Shock Trauma, he said.
No officers were injured, Mullendore said. There were no other civilians in the area, though there were about 25 or more vehicles in the park-and-ride lot, he said.
Mullendore said there is a history of domestic violence involving Jardina and his wife. A protective order against Jardina, issued May 25 by Washington County District Court, ordered him to have no personal contact with his wife or their daughter, nor to harass them, Mullendore said. Phone contact was permissible, Mullendore said.
Jardina was “thrown out” of his home because of the protective order and was living in a building on Main Street in Myersville, Mullendore said.
Jardina’s wife lives in Smithsburg, Mullendore said.
Mullendore said his understanding was the wife called 911 because Jardina was “going to end it” and not because he threatened her at that time.
The sheriff’s office is investigating whether a crime was committed, Mullendore said.
The sheriff’s office and Natural Resources Police are handling the internal investigation because both had officers involved in the shooting, Mullendore said.
Asked about the report to 911 that Jardina had three firearms, Mullendore said officers were waiting for a search warrant so they could search Jardina’s pickup. The pickup was towed to the sheriff’s office.