(SALISBURY, MD) – Maryland State Police are investigating a police involved shooting that occurred late this afternoon in Wicomico County when a member of a fugitive task force shot the tire of a vehicle containing a wanted fugitive that was attempting to flee while another police officer was partially in the car.
The driver of the car containing the fugitive is identified as James D. Brown, 41, of the 2500-block of Castle Street, Salisbury, Md. He is charged with second degree assault and failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer. He will have an appearance later tonight before a court commissioner in Wicomico County.
A passenger in the car, who was the subject of the police search, was also arrested. He is identified as Clarence Cornish, 32, of the 100-block of Willis Street, Cambridge, Md. He is charged on a Kent County Grand Jury indictment with 16 criminal charges including armed robbery, burglary, assault, and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. These charges stem from a home invasion that occurred on March 31, 2011 in Kent County. Cornish is being taken to Kent County where he will be held without bond.
This afternoon, members of the Maryland State Apprehension Team/Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force were in the Salisbury area searching for Cornish. The fugitive team included Deputy Gregory Simpler from the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and Officer Kevin Larkin of the Salisbury Police Department.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m. today, members of the fugitive task force spotted Cornish riding in a car northbound on Rt. 13 near Salisbury. Task force members attempted to stop the vehicle at the red light on Rt. 13 at Connelly Mill Road. As they approached the car, Officer Larkin opened the passenger door and ordered Cornish out. Cornish did not comply and the officer reached in the car, attempting to remove him. As he did, the driver, Brown, pulled off with Officer Larkin partially in and out of the vehicle.
In fear for the life of Officer Larkin, Deputy Simpler fired one shot from his department-issued .40 caliber pistol at the rear driver’s side tire in an attempt to deflate the tire and disable the vehicle. The car continued about 70 yards until it stopped. Officer Larkin was able to disengage himself from the moving car without injury.
When the vehicle stopped, the fugitive team approached the car again and arrested Cornish and Brown without further incident. A third person in the back seat of the car was not arrested.
No one on the scene was injured in the incident. As is procedure, the police involved shooting is being investigated by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit.
Deputy Simpler is an eight-year veteran of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office. He has been placed on routine administrative leave by his department while the investigation continues.