A police officer received minor injuries and one of three Baltimore men facing drug charges was wounded during an undercover operation in Front Royal on Thursday evening.
Everette W. Schwartz, 31, was being treated for serious, non-life-threatening injuries at Winchester Medical Center on Friday afternoon, according to a news release from Virginia State Police Public Relations Director Corinne N. Geller.
The injuries were sustained during an operation of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force around 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the 9800 block of Winchester Road near the Interstate 66 interchange.
Schwartz, Darius J. Coleman-Galloway, 32, and Donate M. Glenn, 26, are suspected of traveling to Front Royal from Baltimore to deliver an illegal supply of fentanyl at a prearranged location, according to the news release. An agreement was reached to meet Schwartz in a parking lot and buy 200 capsules for $3,000 Thursday, according to a criminal complaint filed against Coleman-Galloway.
In order to take the men into custody, task force members, who were standing in the parking lot, positioned themselves around the suspects’ car, a 2009 Acura TL. Geller states in the release that the Acura rammed a Frederick County Sheriff’s Office investigator, who was knocked to the ground, and sped away in an attempt to flee the investigators.
The Acura did a U-turn in the parking lot and headed back toward the investigators when task force officers fired at the suspects, Geller states, adding that the Acura then ran off the edge of the parking lot, went up an embankment and came to a stop.
Schwartz, who was seated in the front passenger seat, was helped out of the Acura, Geller states. First responders were called to the scene after Schwartz was shot. He was transported to the hospital for treatment. Coleman-Galloway, the driver, and Glenn, a backseat passenger, were taken into custody without further incident and were not injured.
A Frederick County Sheriff’s Office investigator suffered minor injuries and was transported to Warren Memorial Hospital for treatment, Geller states. No other law enforcement members were injured.
Schwartz is charged with one felony conspiracy count of possession with intent to manufacture/sell/distribute a Schedule l/ll drug. He is also wanted by the Baltimore Police Department on multiple arrest warrants that include counts of murder, Geller states.
Coleman-Galloway and Glenn are being held at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail without bond. They both were charged with one felony conspiracy count of intent to manufacture/sell/distribute a Schedule l/ll drug. Coleman-Galloway was also charged with one felony count of malicious injury to a law enforcement officer and one felony count of assault.
Coleman-Galloway and Glenn are due in Warren County General District Court on March 16.
The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office is conducting the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, which remains under investigation, Geller states. Additional charges for the three Baltimore men are pending.
Once the investigation is completed, state police will turn its investigative findings over to the commonwealth's attorney for final review and adjudication, Geller states.
One of the task force investigators who fired his weapon is a Virginia State Police special agent assigned to the Culpeper Field Office, Geller states. Under state police policy, the special agent has been placed on leave pending the investigation.
The task force is composed of law enforcement personnel from Clarke, Frederick, Page and Shenandoah county sheriff's offices. It also includes personnel from the Front Royal, Luray, Strasburg, and Winchester Police Departments and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Culpeper Field Office. Geller’s email did not state which task force members were involved in Thursday's incident.
The task force arrested two Maryland residents in February and three Maryland residents earlier this month on drug charges.