Baltimore-area officer gunned down responding to suspicious vehicle report: Governor

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- A police officer in Baltimore County, Maryland, was shot and killed Monday afternoon after responding to a suspicious vehicle report, according to the state's governor, Larry Hogan.

The suspected killer is still at large and police are searching for multiple suspects in the Baltimore suburb of Perry Hall, authorities said.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a Baltimore County Police Officer after she was shot in the line of duty today," Hogan said in a Twitter post. "Our prayers go out to this brave officer's family."

Cpl. Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Police Department, said he could not confirm the governor's statement that the officer was shot. He would only say that the officer was critically injured when she confronted multiple suspects just before 2 p.m. in a residential area.

The officer was not immediately identified. She was rushed to Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, where she died at 2:50 p.m., officials said.

Vincent said the officer would have been a four-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department in July.

"She was just doing her job," Vincent said.

Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence Sheridan and several of the officer's colleagues were at the hospital providing support to the officer's loved ones.

Vincent said the fatal confrontation happened at the end of a cul-de-sac on Linwen Way off Belair Road in a heavily residential area of Perry Hall.

He said the officer was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood. He also said police discovered damage to a rear patio door of a home in the area, indicating the officer may have interrupted a burglary in progress.

"There were multiple suspects. Right now we are actively searching for at least one armed suspect," Vincent said during a news conference at Franklin Square Hospital about 4:30 p.m.

He said police were combing the neighborhood where the fatal encounter occurred and that three elementary schools were on "alert status" and residents in the area are being asked to shelter in place.

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