UPDATE: Detectives Investigating Attempted Murder of Police Officers and Officer Involved Shooting

May 18, 2021

Photo courtesy of wusa9

UPDATE 5/18/21 @ 6:45 p.m.: On May 17 at 3:47 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 6300 block of Josephine Road in Waldorf to serve an arrest warrant for a man who had violated his probation related to a prior assault conviction. A family member of the man had recently contacted the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office to advise the man was violating his probation. A warrant was subsequently issued.

On May 17, a relative of the man called 9-1-1 and reported he was at the house on Josephine Road. The caller also indicated the man had mental health history. Officers began coordinating a plan with the goal of taking the man into custody as safely as possible.

When the officers were inside the house, the man suddenly began shooting, striking two officers multiple times. Additional officers who were at the house returned fire; it is not immediately clear if the suspect was injured at that time. Officers were able to safely evacuate the injured officers and the man’s mother and father who were inside the house.

The injured officers were subsequently flown to a trauma hospital.

Due to the situation, a barricade was declared and officers established a perimeter.

Members of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Team and the Crisis Negotiation Team, along with support from the Maryland State Police, La Plata Police Department, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, responded and began trying to contact the man.

After no response, a specially trained team of officers were able to utilize a drone to enter the house through the front door, which was wide open. The drone showed the male was lying on the floor and motionless; a gun was observed near him.

Emergency Services officers entered the house, located the man and attempted to render first aid; however, the man was deceased. Officers recovered a 9mm handgun with an extended magazine containing 22 live rounds. The gun – a Polymer “ghost gun” is a gun made from kits that are sold online and have no traceable serial numbers. Family members were not aware he had a firearm. The man has been identified as Denzell Nathan Clarke, 28, of Waldorf. He was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore where an autopsy will determine the manner and cause of death.

The officers who were injured include a 10-year-veteran assigned to patrol and an officer with less than one year of experience also assigned to patrol. Both officers have serious injuries; however, the injuries do not appear to be life threatening. At this time, the investigation is fluid and ongoing. Additional details will be released when available.

UPDATE 5/17/21 @ 8:56 p.m., Audio of incident, along with more details of the 911 call has been added. All radio traffic prior to the shots fired occurring has been removed due to it containing the families personal information.

UPDATE at 8:30 p.m., CCSO Sheriff Troy Berry has announced the two officers were both flown to an area trauma center and are both listed in serious condition, but stable condition.

Police deployed drones into the residence where they found the lone suspect deceased, his identity is not being released at this time.

Officers responded to the residence at approximately 3:30 p.m., after a 911 call from family members reporting a wanted male family member was inside of the residence having a mental breakdown, and wanted him removed from the residence.

As police worked to confirm the warrant through different agencies, family members allowed the police officers to enter the residence, and upon entering the second floor of the residence, the suspect fired at the officers, striking two of them multiple times.

Police returned fire, however, it is unknown if they struck the suspect.

We we provided updates as they become available from the Sheriff’s Office.

Update from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office 5:25 p.m., “There is currently police activity in the 6300 block of Josephine Road in Waldorf. Please avoid the area. We will provide details when we can.”

“We are on the scene of an officer involved shooting in the 6300 block of Josephine Road in Waldorf in which two officers were injured. Situation is ongoing and we will provide updates as we can.”

5/17/2021: On Monday, May 17, 2021, police responded to the 1600 block of Josephine Road in Waldorf, a short time after they arrived, two police officers were shot.

Maryland State Police Helicopter Trooper 2 landed nearby and transported two police officers to an area trauma center.

The situation is still ongoing as of 7:00 p.m.

Updates will be provided when they become available.

Photo provided by WUSA9

Photo courtesy of wusa9