ROCKVILLE, Md. — One suspect is dead and four more are on the run. The surviving suspects are all considered armed and dangerous after carrying out an early morning burglary at a Rockville gun store.
According to Chief Marcus Jones, acting Chief of the Montgomery County Police Department, five suspects used a stolen vehicle to ram their way into United Gun Shop around 2:35 a.m., setting off the store's alarm. The suspects were only inside for a couple minutes, but an officer who responded to the scene within four minutes of the alarm blocked their escape. Jones said the suspects had a second stolen getaway vehicle, which they used to ram the officer's cruiser as they tried to flee the scene.
The officer was not injured, and was able to fire his weapon at the disabled vehicle, which only made it a couple blocks from the scene before stopping in front of Loemann's Shopping Center, Jones said. That's when four of suspects bailed, leaving the fifth suspect dead inside the vehicle. Jones confirms the suspect died of a gunshot wound. His death is also under investigation.
At this time, it is unclear exactly how many weapons the suspects were able to take from the store. Jones said three handguns from United Gun Shop were located in the getaway vehicle. Another bag of guns from the store was found in a backyard as police searched for the remaining four suspects in the area. Jones said although it is unclear whether the suspects still have more guns from the store in their possession, due to the violent nature of the suspects' actions, it is safe to assume "these individuals came here armed and dangerous right from the beginning."
Two years ago, this same store was robbed when two men got away with several weapons in just over 60 seconds.
Chief Jones is warning residents in the area to be vigilant and cautious as they leave their homes. Anyone who encounters suspicious activity should not confront any potential suspects, but call 911 immediately. Jones is also asking anyone with home surveillance video which may give any clues to the suspect's identity or whereabouts to contact Montgomery County Police.
On Wednesday, police learned Fox Firearms in the 11200 block of Scaggsville Road was burglarized the same way, in Howard County.
It was around 2 a.m. when police suspects drove a car through the store and stole multiple guns. Officials said that vehicle was reported stolen.
Police are investigating if the two incidents are connected.