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Police car 'drove at' Maryland gun store owner before mistaken shooting, lawyer says

Gun store owner Andy Raymond remains in jail after shooting at undercover police car Tuesday. Lawyer says owner feared burglars were targeting business

ROCKVILLE, Md. — A controversial Rockville gun store owner remains in jail Wednesday as his attorney argued that he shot at an unmarked police car patrolling his store's parking lot early Tuesday because he thought the unfamiliar car was linked to a spree of dangerous gun store burglaries that have plagued the region.

Andy Raymond, the well-known owner of Engage Armament in Rockville, Maryland, was arrested early Tuesday morning after the shooting.

"That car even drove at him," Raymond's attorney David Martella told reporters Wednesday. "The police officer probably didn't understand that Andy Raymond was a good guy. Andy Raymond didn't understand the person in the car was a good guy."

Raymond's lawyers asked a judge to postpone a bond hearing Wednesday so they could meet with prosecutors to discuss the case.

Raymond remains in Montgomery County's Jail.

Raymond is charged with shooting at the police car outside his Engage Armament store on East Gude Drive in Rockville at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The shooting happened as gun store owners throughout the region have been put on alert by authorities about an ongoing spree of dangerous smash-and-grab burglaries targeting firearms merchants.

The suspects use stolen vehicles to smash through the doors of stores late at night, according to an advisory from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

Raymond is accused of running outside Engage Armament and taking shots at a patrolling unmarked police car that was assigned to protect gun stores, according to Montgomery County Police.

Police reported that after the shooting, the officer in the vehicle turned on flashing police lights. Officers said Raymond immediately put down his gun and surrendered.

The officer was not hurt.

Speaking generally Wednesday, Montgomery County police chief Marcus Jones said “vigilantism” by merchants is dangerous.

"The situation the other night is a true danger to our officers and to the rest of the community," Jones said. "We would prefer that people leave these issues in the hands of law enforcement."

Jones said he supports gun store owners' right to have armed security protecting their stores, but he asked owners to contact and coordinate with police.

Raymond's attorney said the owner had been cooperating with police.

According to legal experts, a store owner in Maryland only can only shoot to protect his or her life, not property.

Maryland has a legal doctrine known as “duty to retreat,” which requires a person to attempt to safely get away from any confrontation before resorting to deadly force.

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