A series of events in Edgewood on Tuesday repeatedly drew police to the area, but do not appear to be connected to ongoing unrest taking place in Baltimore, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said.
According to agency spokeswoman Cristie Kahler, three separate incidents resulted in an increased police presence in the area, but none were connected to protests and riots in Baltimore. Nonetheless, social media speculation fueled unfounded rumors of looting and other disturbances throughout the day.
At approximately 9:30 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a call for shots fired in the area of Brookside Drive and Judy Way, near the Edgewater Village Shopping Center. Kahler said a suspect was not located and no injuries were reported; the incident appeared to be a case of an individual “randomly discharging a handgun,” she said.
However, the incident triggered a “brief” lockdown of Edgewood High School, Edgewood Middle School, Deerfield Elementary and Edgewood Elementary Schools, Harford County Public Schools reported on its social media outlets. The school system said in its posting that lockdowns are often used during such incidents as a precaution until law enforcement authorities address the situation.
The gunfire also fueled rumors on social media indicating a disturbance and possible looting at the Big Lots store in Edgewood. Kahler emphasized that no evidence of criminal activity was present at that location despite several visits from deputies, who she said were repeatedly summoned to the scene as individuals read social media posts about the alleged looting and called 911.
“We’ve been dispatched there several times today,” she said. “We’ve been running back and forth to Big Lots and all calls have bene unfounded.”
Later in the morning, Kahler said deputies attempting to serve “a minor warrant” at a location on Willoughby Beach Road were confronted with a suicidal subject. Deputies were able to de-escalate the situation and the individual was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
“It had the potential to turn into a barricade situation,” Kahler said, “but it did not.”
Finally, rumors of an impending disturbance at Edgewood High School near dismissal time drew police to the area, but Kahler said dismissal occurred without incident.