5 shot, 3 dead in Maryland business park, gunman on the run, Harford sheriff saysA photo of suspect Radee Labeeb Prince is displayed after a press conference near the Edgewood shooting scene Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 in Edgewood, Md. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/TNS)
Three people died and two were injured in a shooting Wednesday morning at an Edgewood, Md., area business park, the Harford County sheriff said.
The shooting occurred around 8:58 a.m. at Advanced Granite Solutions, and sheriff’s deputies were on the scene within four minutes, according to Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler. All five people were shot with a handgun, and are employees of the business, Gahler said.
“This does appear to be a targeted attack, limited to that business,” Gahler said at an 11:10 a.m. news conference.
Gahler identified the suspect as 37-year-old Radee Labeeb Prince, who he said was connected to the business.
“What that association is, that’s still under investigation,” Gahler said.
The suspect left the scene in a black 2008 GMC Acadia with Delaware tags, the sheriff said. A residence in Cecil County was searched as part of the investigation, he said.
“We do not believe that anybody else was involved in this incident,” Gahler said.
Two patients from the shooting were in critical condition at Shock Trauma, University of Maryland Medical System officials said Wednesday morning.
A modified lockdown has been lifted from those Harford County schools in the Edgewood area that were placed under precautions earlier in the day, district officials said.
“There’s an individual out there on the loose who’s committed one of the most heinous acts in our county. We certainly consider him armed and dangerous,” Gahler said.
According to Advanced Granite Solution’s website, the company designs, manufactures and installs granite, marble and stone countertops and other surfaces in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Prince had several prior arrests and run-ins with law enforcement, court records show.
In December 2003, he pleaded guilty in Delaware to 15 counts of third-degree burglary and was sentenced to 25 years with all but two years suspended, court records show. He was ordered to pay $34,500 in restitution, the records show.
He was charged with several handgun counts in March 2015 in Cecil County, including being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a handgun in vehicle; those charges were dropped by Cecil County prosecutors about three months later.
In February, a peace order — Maryland’s equivalent of a restraining order — was taken out against him in Harford County but was denied. Details of the case were not immediately available.
The Sheriff’s Office posted on its Twitter feed around 9:10 a.m. that there was “police activity in area of Emmorton Business Park” and people should avoid the area.
Emmorton Business Park is just south of the Interstate 95 interchange with Route 24, parts of it visible from the highway.
Kevin Doyle, 47, works as a maintenance technician for Thornhill Properties and was on a job nearby. He was outside getting more tools from his vehicle when he saw people running from the shooting scene.
“Three guys came running. They were terrified,” Doyle said. “You could tell this was something big. They were in shock.
“One of them was crying, ‘They’re shot in the head, they’re shot in the head.’
“I started to go down there to see if I could help, and one of them said, ‘Don’t go down there, there’s shooting.’”
Doyle said he called 911 and saw the first police officer arrive at the entrance to the industrial park.
As the investigation was initially unfolding, the sheriff’s office asked media to refrain from airing aerial video that may reveal tactical positioning at the scene.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) out of Baltimore also responded to the scene to support the local Harford authorities in their investigation, the federal agency said.
Jason Bradfield, 33, a sales representative at the nearby Classic Team Sports store, said he and four other employees were preparing for the day when they noticed what looked like SWAT officers “walking by with guns drawn” outside.
The sight made him nervous and reassured, he said.
“We were not really sure what they were doing,” he said.
Soon after, someone at the neighboring suite told him and his co-workers that there was a shooter in the small business park, Bradfield said.
“We locked the doors and we’re basically on lockdown now,” he said at the time.
Bradfield said Classic Team Sports is toward the back of the small business park, and most of the police activity appeared to be focused toward the front of the park. There was no traffic coming or going down the street, he said.
“Crazy world we live in. It’s hard to fathom. It’s pretty close to home,” Bradfield said of the shooting. “You would never think that it would happen. It’s not something you would think would happen so close.”
The Sheriff’s Office says that family members worried that their loved ones may be injured in the shooting may gather at the Richlin Ballroom on Edgewood Road.
There was a heavy police presence in Prince’s Elkton neighborhood. Police tape blocked off his street as armed officers patrolled nearby areas.
Neighbors said Prince was quiet and largely kept to himself.
“He just really wasn’t approachable,” said June Rivera, 33, who lives next door. “Sometimes he got combative with neighbors.”
Rivera said he was shocked when police started swarming the area Wednesday’s morning. Then he saw what took place on the news.
“For him to do that so close to home is crazy,” Rivera said. “You wouldn’t think he had that in him.”
Cedric Brown said he’s lived near Prince for the past 3 1/2 years. He said Prince lived with a woman.
The two men would sometimes shovel snow together, and Brown said Prince never appeared violent.
“I only saw him smiling and laughing,” said Brown, 67. “I was shocked when they said it was him.”
Gov. Larry Hogan said the state had two helicopters and the state’s fugitive apprehension team looking for the suspect.
“The killer remains on the loose. He was last seen heading toward Cecil County, toward Elkton, close to the Delaware line,” Hogan said during an unrelated event at the State House in Annapolis.
The governor said he spoke with Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler and that the FBI, the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Transportation Authority are helping the sheriff’s office. He said three people were dead and two others were shot in the head.
“I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that was happening,” Hogan said during a Board of Public Works meeting that he briefly left to get an update on the unfolding search for the shooter.
“The state is providing every possible assistance to the local government. My thoughts and prayers are with the people, the families of those who have lost their lives and been injured,” Hogan said, adding that “I think everything is under control at this point.”
In a statement, Glassman said: “Our sympathy and prayers are with the families of the lost and the injured employees in today’s horrible shooting. Harford’s allied emergency services are assisting the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the impacted families. In addition, my administration’s Department of Emergency Services is assisting our local, state and federal partners in apprehending the suspect.”
Schools nearby were placed on a modified lockdown. That precaution has since been lifted, school officials said.
(Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Erika Butler, Justin Fenton, Alison Knezevich, Jessica Anderson, Talia Richman and Erin Cox contributed to this report.)
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