LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A man accused of shooting an officer on Wednesday in Laurel was taken out on a stretcher in an area near Lynn Buff Ct. and Route 1.
Howard County Police told us that a local mechanic spotted the man on Thursday morning and notified police. WUSA 9's Delia Goncalves talked to that mechanic.
Freddy Pina told us, "I want sure because he was hovered. He didn't look the way he looked before. SoI was like, 'he came out of the woods. It has to be him."
Pinaquickly told police he may have spotted their man. Officers in camouflage dressed to search the woods spent time surrounding a storm drain off Route 1. Then the suspectwas apprehended, andtaken away in an ambulance.
Howard County Police Chief William McMahon said, "gave him commands to surrender which he did. So he's taken into custody without any type of -- really any other interaction."
Pratherhad a wound on his leg, shot during a gunfight with police the previous night.
"He couldn't walk straight," shared Pina.
The search for the alleged shooter finally came to an end more than 16 hours later.
Wednesday, police offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Stephon Prather, who was wanted for attempted murder of a police officer and multiple counts of assault against officers. They released two photos of the Prather, one was a surveillance photo taken just before the shooting at a nearby business and the other was from his driver's license, in hopes they may get tips from the public.
Stephon Prather's capture pushed back the police press conference originally set for 8:45 a.m. on Thursday. Just as police were stepping out to brief reporters at the command center, there was a flurry of activity less than 300 yards away. Prather had been caught.
During that press conference, officials said that officers had found Prather and ordered him to surrender when they saw him along Route 1 and he did without incident, say officials. Prather was taken to Shock Trauma via ambulancefor treatment of the wound.
A map of the approximate locations where the shooting and the suspect were found shows the locations were less than 2 miles apart: http://bit.ly/18OUhSG
Police did not find a weapon on the suspect when he was taken into custody. They will be conducting a search of the wooded area for a gun, officials said.
Route 1 may be closed for short periods throughout the day for investigation.
The incident in Howard County started when police received a call from a nearby business at about 4 p.m. reporting a man with a gun on the 9500 block of Washington Blvd. When three officers arrived on the scenethey were confronted by Prather who opened fire, police said. Police say they did return fire and they struck Prather before he fled the scene.
Officer Steven Houk, 30, was shot and had to be airlifted to shock trauma. He was alert and talking but was in serious condition. Thursday, officials said that Houk was still in serious condition but stable condition.
On twitter, officials said he is "out of surgery and doing well. Still serious condition but stable. We are overwhelmed by all the support, thank you."
Houk has been with the Department for alittle more than two years.
Officers from Howard County police, City of Laurel police officers,Maryland State police, Anne Arundel County police, and Prince George's County police, SWAT teams to Academy recruits were involved in the search.