Shooting probe in early stages

wounded man still in critical condition

June 12, 2012|By DON AINES |

The investigation into a Sunday morning shooting in which police officers critically injured an armed Myersville, Md., man is still in its early stages, Sheriff Douglas Mullendore said Monday.

James Jacob Jardina, 46, was in critical condition at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday morning. Jardina was shot in the torso and hip, Mullendore said Sunday.

The sheriff’s deputy and Maryland Department of Natural Resources officer who fired their weapons in the incident at the park and ride lot off Md. 66 near Interstate 70 will remain on administrative leave until the investigation is completed, Mullendore said. A DNR spokesman confirmed Sunday that its officer was on administrative leave and referred questions to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff said he would not release the officers’ names until the investigation is completed.

In the meantime, the deputy will be off patrol and on desk or similar duties, Mullendore said. The deputy also will receive any required counseling, Mullendore said.

“That’s always part of that; they will go see a psychologist or a psychiatrist for a debriefing” and to ensure they are fit to return to regular duties, Mullendore said.

“There’s always psychological impact, and some officers deal with it better than others,” Mullendore said.

Once his office has completed its internal investigation of the shooting, the report will be reviewed by the State’s Attorney’s Office for any further recommendations, Mullendore said.

There is a separate investigation to determine if Jardina should face criminal charges, Mullendore said.

Mullendore said Sunday that Jardina got out of his pickup truck armed with a handgun and “definitely pointed it at the officers.”

As of Monday, however, a number of facts had not been determined, including whether Jardina fired his weapon and how many times the officers fired at him, Mullendore said. Jeffrey Kercheval of the Western Maryland Regional Crime Laboratory and criminal investigators from the sheriff’s office went over the shooting scene and met to review the evidence collected, Mullendore said Monday.

Jardina’s truck was impounded, but a search warrant on the vehicle will not be executed until Tuesday, Mullendore said.

Before the shooting Sunday, Washington County Emergency Services received a 911 call that Jardina was on the phone with his wife threatening suicide, a news release from the sheriff’s office said.

As to whether Jardina’s actions were an attempt at “suicide by cop,” Mullendore said it has not been determined whether his intention was to shoot or to be shot.

“We may never know that,” Mullendore said. “Why did he get out of a truck with a handgun to confront law enforcement officers?”

A protective order was issued in Washington County District Court against Jardina in May, ordering him not to have contact with his wife or daughter.

Sunday’s shooting was the first in which deputies were involved since 2007, when Douglas Wayne Pryor was shot and wounded after he killed his girlfriend, Alison Munson, and Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Shane Nicholson, Mullendore said. Pryor, who was wounded in a shootout with the county’s Special Response Team, is serving multiple life sentences for the murders.

Maryland State Police troopers were involved in a fatal shooting in 2008 during a traffic stop near Clear Spring. Randall Charles Sipes, 29, of Warfordsburg, Pa., was shot and killed when he pulled a handgun on troopers during a traffic stop on U.S. 40, according to published reports.

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