Cumberland Times-News

March 29, 2013

Rawlings man wounded by police after shooting at family members

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— RAWLINGS — Rawlings resident Samuel E. George, 53, was wounded by state troopers Thursday night when he ignored commands to surrender and approached them with a loaded handgun. George allegedly shot and wounded his brother and shot at his father before police arrived at the Holly Avenue location.

George was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for treatment of two gunshot wounds following the 10:30 p.m.  incident.

His wife had called 911 to report that George was firing shots and destroying their mobile home in the 15000 block of Meadow Dale Drive. He was also apparently threatening to kill himself. 

According to the preliminary investigation by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, George then walked to the home of his father and brother in the 15000 block of Holly Avenue. He confronted a family friend, Julius D. Shaffer, 20, and pointed his .22 caliber revolver at him.  George reportedly pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire. George then allegedly pointed the revolver at the head of his brother, Jason E. George, 33, and pulled the trigger, but again, the gun did not fire. 

Samuel George then went back to his residence where he presumably reloaded his gun. When he returned to his father’s mobile home, his father, Edward George, 75, was standing on the porch urging his son to put the gun down. George allegedly fired a shot in the direction of his father, but did not wound him. 

According to witnesses, Samuel George again approached Shaffer and Jason George. He fired one round at his brother that is said to have grazed his brother’s leg.  Jason George and Shaffer took cover while Samuel continued to fire more rounds. 

State troopers and deputies from the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office arrived and confronted Samuel George at the intersection of Holly Avenue and Meadow Dale Drive, at which time he fired his weapon in the air. 

State Police Sgt. Jason Crowe ordered George to put the gun down and surrender. George repeatedly said the only way he would put the gun down was if police shot him.

He then began walking down Meadow Dale Drive toward the Rawlings Volunteer Fire Department. Troopers and deputies followed him, while taking cover and continuing to order him to drop the weapon and surrender. As they approached the fire department, troopers and deputies took cover behind trees at a nearby residence.

The suspect continued to ignore commands to surrender. He showed police that the hammer on his revolver was cocked before beginning to walk toward the tree where Crowe and another trooper were observing him. Police again urged him to surrender and he refused. 

Crowe and Senior Trooper Eric Derham each fired their 12-gauge shotguns. George was incapacitated and troopers removed the revolver from his hand. 

Derham provided emergency care to George for wounds in his upper and lower torso. The Maryland State Police medevac helicopter paramedic provided medical care and George was flown to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Assistance was also provided by Rawlings Volunteer Fire Department personnel. 

No troopers or deputies were injured during the incident. Samuel George was later transported by ambulance to Baltimore.  Criminal charges against him are pending.  Jason George refused medical treatment for his wound.

Investigators from the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, C3I and the sheriff’s office remained on the scene. State Police Forensic Sciences Division crime scene technicians and the Allegany County State’s Attorney also responded. The Maryland State Police Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the police-involved shooting as standard procedure. 

Crowe is a 13-year veteran of the Maryland State Police. Derham is a 22-year veteran. Both troopers are assigned to the Cumberland Barrack and have been placed on routine administrative leave while the preliminary investigation continues.