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Teen charged in Baltimore County police officer’s death, accused of ramming Jeep into cop

Baltimore County, Maryland, police arrested a teenager who allegedly admitted to using a Jeep Wrangler to fatally strike an officer who was trying to get the youth to exit the vehicle.

Dawnta Anthony Harris, 16, was arrested Monday in connection with the death of Baltimore County police Officer Amy Caprio. He has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder and will have a bail hearing Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

The incident began around 2 p.m. Monday when police were called to investigate a report of a possible burglary in which three people had gotten out of a black Jeep and were walking around homes, according to a probable cause statement. The callers said the subjects had broken into one home, the documents state.

Officers arriving at the scene found Caprio in the roadway suffering from traumatic injuries. She was transported to Franklin Square Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the probable cause documents said.

Officer Amy Caprio and Dawnta Anthony Harris

The officer had worked for Baltimore County police for nearly four years, authorities said.

A witness said he saw Caprio outside her patrol car shouting orders to the driver of a Jeep Wrangler, according to court documents. The witness said the vehicle then drove directly at the officer and struck her, the documents state.

The vehicle was discovered abandoned nearby, and a description of the driver was broadcast over police radio, the documents said. Harris matched that description and was stopped about a block from the abandoned Jeep, according to court documents.

In an interview with police, he admitted he was waiting in the driver’s seat of the Jeep as other associates were committing a burglary, according to court documents. Caprio followed him, got out of her vehicle and demanded he exit the Jeep, he said, according to documents.

He confessed he partially opened the driver’s door but then shut it and drove at the officer, the documents state.

The three teenage males suspected of being involved with burglaries in the area also have been taken into custody, police said.

Gov. Larry Hogan said US and state flags will fly at half-staff until Caprio is laid to rest.

“She bravely made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and security of our citizens, and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for her selfless service,” he said.