The Baltimore man who held his estranged wife hostage in her SUV on a dirt road outside Bel Air for more than 12 hours shot and wounded her and was in turn killed by members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office tactical team, the agency said Wednesday.
Luis Arturo Hernandez Jr., 37, of Baltimore, was killed shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday morning by deputies with the Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team after he shot his wife, Jamie Nicole Campbell, 28, in the stomach, according to a release from the agency. Campbell was airlifted from the scene and taken to the University of Maryland R Cowley Adams Shock Trauma Center, where she remained in serious condition Wednesday evening, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave per agency policy pending a review of the incident, the Sheriff’s Office said. The names and regular duty assignments of tactical operators are not made public, also per agency policy.
The shooting capped a 12-hour long standoff with police which began when Campbell was reported missing by her mother, and deputies located her car via its OnStar system on a dirt road off Cedar Lane in Creswell. Approaching deputies were “warned off” by Hernandez, according to an initial Sheriff’s Office statement on the incident, and Campbell called out to officers that he was armed.
Sheriff’s Office crisis negotiators were in contact with Hernandez throughout the night, according to agency spokesman Edward Hopkins, engaging in unsuccessful attempts to get him to surrender. The standoff escalated after Hernandez began forcing Campbell to call family members to “say goodbye on his behalf,” Hopkins said.
Victim services personnel stationed with those family members alerted deputies on the scene, and SRT members were authorized to approach the vehicle in an attempt to both protect Campbell and prevent Hernandez from taking his own life.
Hopkins emphasized that the phone calls were sufficient reason for tactical operators to approach the vehicle, deputies initially hoped to also save the life of Hernandez, who he said had exhibited a history of behavioral issues in addition to past domestic violence incidents.
“In order to shoot someone, we have to have a threat,” Hopkins said. “Even though a hostage situation implies a threat, until he actually displays a threat, we can’t just arbitrarily shoot him.”
“Our job really is to rescue both people,” he added.