The driver is identified as Alvin D. Melvin, 45, of the 12000-block of Somerset Avenue, Princess Anne, Md. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.
The injured trooper is identified as Trooper First Class D. Tebbins, a K-9 trooper assigned to the Princess Anne Barrack. TFC Tebbins was transported to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center where he was treated and later released. His dog was taken to an emergency veterinarian center as a precaution, where he was treated and released.
At about 8:30 p.m. yesterday, a Maryland state trooper assigned to the Princess Anne Barrack was patrolling in an unmarked patrol car on West Post Office Road near Beechwood Street in Princess Anne, when he saw a 1998 Ford car in which the passenger was not wearing a seat belt. The trooper activated his emergency equipment and attempted to stop the car but the driver, later identified as Melvin, refused to stop and accelerated away.
A pursuit began which traveled through Princess Anne. TFC Tebbins was in the area and joined the pursuit, as did two patrol cars from the Princess Anne Police Department. The pursuit continued onto northbound Rt. 13 and TFC Tebbins, who was driving a marked patrol car, assumed the lead car position among the pursuing police officers.
TFC Tebbins was traveling in the fast lane of Rt. 13 and Melvin was in the slow lane when the trooper attempted to pull alongside Melvin’s car. The investigation indicates Melvin then swerved his car into the patrol car, causing TFC Tebbins to lose control. The patrol car traveled into the median, struck several trees, overturned and immediately caught fire. A Princess Anne police officer immediately stopped and assisted TFC Tebbins and his dog out of the burning patrol car.
After ramming the police car, Melvin apparently lost control of his car and crashed into a ditch on the slow shoulder of Rt. 13, south of Loretto Road. A trooper and Princess Anne officers stopped behind the car and implemented felony stop procedures, which include staying at their cars while giving verbal commands to the occupants of the suspect vehicle.
The passenger immediately got out of the car and complied with police directions. The driver, Melvin, failed to exit the car and did not comply with directions from police. While they continued to give commands to the driver, police heard what sounded like a gunshot from Melvin’s vehicle. Police could then see Melvin no longer appeared to be moving.
Police approached the car and saw Melvin had sustained what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. A .40 caliber pistol was in his lap. Emergency care was provided and EMS units were summoned. Melvin was pronounced dead at the scene.
The car Melvin was driving is registered to his wife. A search of the vehicle will be conducted after a search warrant is obtained. The gun he had is not reported stolen and investigators are researching its origin.
The passenger in Melvin’s car is a 16-year-old male from the county. He was not charged and was released to the custody of his parents.
A motive for Melvin’s actions is not known at this time. The investigation by the State Police Princess Anne Barrack Criminal Investigation Section is continuing. A member of the Somerset County State’s Attorney’s Office responded to the scene and has been kept updated on the investigation.