Md. man, officers exchange fire
A 31-year-old Gaithersburg man was charged with attempted murder Thursday after authorities say he opened fire on a police officer.
Phillip A. Watson, also charged with assault, reckless endangerment and other counts, was being held in the Montgomery County jail on no bond Thursday.
Late Wednesday night, Gaithersburg police officers in plain clothes were working in the area of School Drive because there had been thefts from cars in the area. On Thursday morning around 3 a.m., a resident in the area called police to say he was going to go outside and check on a suspicious situation. Police advised him to stay inside, police said.
Four officers then saw a man wearing a mask and tried to determine if he was the caller. When they approached, the man started walking back upstairs, toward his apartment.
The officer closest to him, while wearing plain clothes, had a police badge around his neck, police said. The man turned to the officer, displayed a handgun, and fired several times, according to Montgomery County police, who are investigating the incident.
The officer dropped to the floor and began retreating down the steps. One of the other officers returned a shot, police said. No one was hit by any of the bullets.
The suspect then called police, and confirmed he had fired shots, according to officials. He was taken into custody without further incident, police said.
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