SALISBURY, Md. (WUSA9) – A man wanted in Delaware on handgun charges was fatally wounded after police stopped his car in Wicomico County, Md.
Maryland State Police have identified the man as 25-year-old James L. Norris of Wilmington, Del. He was wanted by the Wilmington (DE) Police Department.
Police tell us they began searching for Norris after Wilmington Police Department officials contacted them on Jan. 30. Investigators later received information that led to a surveillance operation at a home in Delmar, according to police. On Monday, they spotted a person matching the description of the wanted man getting into a car that then drove south on Rt. 13 into Salisbury. Investigators asked a uniformed trooper in a marked car to stop the vehicle and identify the occupants, say police.
Shortly before 4:30 p.m., a trooper stopped the car on southbound Rt. 13 at Philadelphia Avenue, according to police. Investigators watched as the trooper spoke to the female driver. According to police, The male passenger, later identified as the fugitive, held his face down.
Then, police say, an officer who was part of the surveillance team and approached the passenger side of the car. Police tell us that the officer was wearing police identification and was verbally identified himself as an officer. When the officer asked the man for his name, Norris put both of his hands in his jacket pockets, say police. The officer then told Norris not to put his hands in his pockets, but he refused and according to police, "told the officer one of them was going to die." At that point, the officer took out his gun.
Police are unsure about exactly what happened next. Investigators heard more than one shot ring out, but are not sure if Norris was wounded by a self-inflicted gunshot or by the police officer. Police do know that they found Norris with his hands clenched around revolvers in his pockets. They say he also possessed suspected cocaine.
Emergency medical personnel arrived to treat Norris before he was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, say police. He was pronounced dead there shortly after 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Police say Norris' body will be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.
Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan requested that the the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigate the police-involved shooting.