Amy Caprio death: 4 teens charged with murder of police officer
Amy Caprio death: 4 teens charged with murder of police officer

Amy Caprio death, All four teenagers sought by police after the killing of a Baltimore County police officer Monday have been arrested and charged as adults with murder.

Dawnta Harris, 16, was charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of Officer First Class Amy Caprio, charging documents state.

Three teenage males — 15-year-old Derrick Matthews, 16-year-old Darrell Ward and 17-year-old Eugene Genius — were also taken into custody, police said Tuesday morning. On Wednesday morning, they were charged as adults with murder and burglary, according to court documents.

Caprio was responding around 2 p.m. to a call for a suspicious vehicle and a burglary in progress on Linwen Way in Perry Hall. Charging documents state that a 911 caller reported a suspicious vehicle in the area.

Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence Sheridan said Caprio arrived and saw black a Jeep. She followed it into a court, where it stopped and turned around. Caprio got out of her car and ordered the driver of the Jeep to get out.

Charging documents said Harris admitted that he “drove at the officer.”

“He admitted that he partially opened the driver’s door, but then shut it and drove at the officer,” the charging documents state.

A source familiar with the case said the officer’s body camera video gives a clear view of her standing in street as the vehicle comes at her. She fired one shot and got hit by the vehicle and was thrown.

Sheridan said the Jeep struck Caprio and drove over her, seriously injuring her. Caprio was critically injured and was taken to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, where she died around 2:50 p.m.

The medical examiner ruled Caprio’s death a homicide by multiple trauma to the head and torso.

“Unfortunately, we’ve lost a police officer to a senseless act, and we’re now dealing with proceeding forward with a funeral and services for Officer Caprio,” Sheridan said.

Sources told 11 News that Harris returned to the scene to look for the other three suspects who were in a house. Police said detectives verified that the suspects were involved in burglaries in the area.

“Went inside, stealing jewelry, cash, anything they could get their hands on. So with that kind of linkage, we believe that the four were acting together to commit these burglaries,” Sheridan said.

“Harris admitted that he had been waiting in the driver’s seat of the Jeep Wrangler as other associates were in the process of committing a burglary,” the charging document states.

Sources said that the Perry Hall house was apparently targeted by the suspects, who believed there were guns inside.

The Jeep was found abandoned in the 9500 block of Dawnvale Road, close to where Caprio was struck, charging documents state. About a block away from the Jeep, police officers found a teenager matching a description of the driver provided by a 911 caller. The teenager was later identified as Harris, charging documents state.

Harris is being held at the Baltimore County Department of Corrections, and was ordered held without bail.

“Your client, in the last six months, is a one-man crime wave,” a Baltimore County judge said during the bail hearing. “I’m not sure any facility is secure enough to hold him.”

Harris is from Gilmor Homes in west Baltimore, a public housing complex well known because of the Freddie Gray case.

Sources tell I-Team lead investigative reporter Jayne Miller that Harris has a record of car theft in the juvenile system.

A state Department of Juvenile Services official told the 11 News I-Team that the system sent a memo to a judge saying Harris was AWOL on May 17, but there was no request for warrant for his arrest. Without a warrant, there was no notification to police available. A hearing with a judge was set for Tuesday; Caprio was killed on Monday.

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