On December 28th, an unnamed woman reached out to her father after she and her Maryland boyfriend got into a physical altercation and asked her father to call the police. Her father took her to the police station when the boyfriend wasn’t home to get her out of the toxic relationship. A week later, the domestic dispute reached its boiling point in a hail of gunfire.
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Per a report from Queen Anne’s County Police Department, officers responded quickly to the home but found no one there. The father had already picked his daughter up and taken her to the sheriff department to file a report.
According to the Baltimore Sun, officers met up with the father and daughter at the station and the woman asked officers to help her get her belongings out of the home. Under the protection of Deputy Warren Scott Hogan, they returned to the home around midnight. This time, the boyfriend was home and was still steaming from the earlier altercation.
The boyfriend who is now identified as James L. Rich II, 52, wasn’t alone; his teenage son was in the home with him. Once they informed Rich as to why they were there, another argument ensued and escalated when Rich went to the back room of the house to retrieve his shotgun.
That’s when Deputy Hogan stepped in. Police spokesman Greg Shipley said in a statement, “He [Rich] came out of the room and fired one round. He then continued walking toward the deputy and was in close proximity when the suspect and the deputy exchanged gunfire.”
Hogan and Rich were both shot and both were brought to the hospital where Rich was pronounced dead. The deputy is currently in critical condition and the department has created a Go Fund Me to help his family in this difficult time.
Thanks to the deputy’s quick response, no one else was injured. According to WBAL, Rich had a history of violent activity. His previous wife had a restraining order after Rich threatened her. Rich had access to 10 shotguns, 1 crossbow, and 2 handguns.
Sadly, deaths resulting from domestic disputes are far more common than many may think. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 75% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner. In the state of Maryland alone, 43 people lost their lives due to domestic violence between 2014-2015.