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Police: 3 teens arrested for string of burglaries, shooting at officer

Police say three 16-year-olds are facing burglary and attempted murder charges as adults.

BETHESDA, Md. — Montgomery County Police say they have arrested three 16-year-olds Thursday for a string of robberies and the attempted homicide of an officer after a pursuit and shooting on Interstate 495.

Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway) in Bethesda is back open after being shut down overnight while police searched for the suspects who fired shots at officers during a police pursuit. 

Montgomery County Police say the chain of events started around 1:20 a.m. when police were called to a report of an attempted burglary in the 6000 block of Johnson Drive in Bethesda. Officials say officers spotted a silver BMW SUV in the area suspected of a similar crime from the night before. It was leaving the scene at a high rate of speed. As officers caught up to the SUV, the suspects inside the vehicle opened fire on the officers.

Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said a bullet struck the passenger-side headrest of the police cruiser.

"What happened this morning clearly could have ended tragically," Jones said in a press conference Thursday.

The officers did not fire back and no officers were injured, police said. The officers pursued the SUV.

The chase came to an end around 1:35 a.m. when the BMW crashed and suspects bailed from the vehicle on the ramp from Northbound MD-355 to the Beltway.  

Police say they were able to apprehend one of the suspects quickly. Two more suspects ran across the Beltway, which caused police to shut down I-495 and set up a perimeter. Another suspect was found in the woods on the opposite side of I-495. Police say the third suspect was apprehended around 2:30 a.m. with the help of a Prince George's County police helicopter and Montgomery County Police Department K-9 units.

The suspects were later identified as:

  • Maynor Josue Bonilla-Flores, age 16 of Northeast Washington, D.C.   
  • Jason Benitez-Umanzor, age 16 of Northwest Washington, D.C.   
  • Brad Roca, age 16 of Northwest Washington, D.C.    

Police say the teenagers will be charged as adults in this case.

"The fact that these three suspects are all juveniles is simply disturbing," Jones said. "We really need to dig deeper into the root causes of why young people are doing what they're doing."

The people whose homes were allegedly targeted by the suspects did not want to be identified, but one man said he's lived in his Bethesda home for 18 years and has never seen anything like this in his neighborhood.

"We really need to dig deeper into the root causes of why young people are doing what they're doing."

RELATED: Police: Man wanted in connection to homicide killed in motorcycle crash following Northeast DC pursuit

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