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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: owings mills

UPDATE (November 6  12:03 p.m.):

Baltimore County Police have found more skeletal human remains near the area where a human skull was found on October 11.

At noon on November 4, Baltimore County Police Homicide detectives returned to the area of Owings Mills Boulevard and Gwynnbrook Avenue 21117 to search for more evidence. During the search, more skeletal human remains were found.

The identity and cause of death for the person whose skull was found on October 11 remains unknown.

This incident is under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

UPDATE (October 13 9:02 a.m.):

Baltimore County Police are continuing to investigate after a skull was found in a wooded area in Owings Mills on Sunday.

Just before 9:30 a.m., police were called to the area of Owings Mills Boulevard and Gwynnbrook Avenue 21117 after people walking in the woods found a human skull. Police recovered the skull along with some other bones found in the area.

The Medical Examiner's Office determined that the skull was human but the other bones recovered were not. Results of the autopsy are pending.

This incident remains under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.

Original release (October 11, 2015  12:19 p.m.):

Baltimore County Police are investigating after a human skull was found in a wooded area this morning.

A human skull and some other unidentifiable bones were found in the Franklin / Precinct 3 area this morning.

Police were dispatched to the area of Owings Mills and Gwynnbrook Avenue at 9:25 a.m. after a couple of people taking a walk through a wooded area discovered what appeared to be a human skull. Investigators found various other bones in the area but it is unclear yet if they are human or animal remains.

The remains will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for identification purposes.  This case will remain under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit.

Anyone with information can contact police at 410-307-2020.

Detectives from Baltimore County Police and the New York Police Department last night briefly interviewed the Owings Mills woman shot Saturday by the man who killed two NYPD officers later the same day. She confirmed that during their altercation the suspect gave no indication that he intended to commit violence against police officers.

The victim, Shaneka Nicole Thompson, 29, of the 10000 block of Mill Run Circle, 21117, remains hospitalized in critical condition at a local medical facility. She is expected to recover from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

One Baltimore County and two New York detectives spoke to Thompson for less than an hour Sunday evening.

Thompson told detectives that Ismaaiyl Abdula Brinsley, 28, who is not from Maryland and whose current address is unknown, unexpectedly showed up at her door at about 5:25 a.m. Saturday. The two had been involved in a romantic relationship. The shooting, Thompson said, was preceded by a domestic dispute over the status of their relationship.

Contrary to unofficial reports, Brinsley did not have a key to Thompson’s apartment. He somehow gained entrance to the lobby of the secured building and knocked on her door, which she opened.

At no time during the argument did Brinsley say he was planning to commit violence against police, Thompson said. Brinsley did not talk about police at all during the argument, she said.

(Thompson’s family has asked for privacy and that media refrain from seeking interviews with them.)


BCoPD provides the following timeline of relevant events leading up to the fatal shooting of two NYPD officers Saturday afternoon:

  • 5:51 a.m., Baltimore County Police are dispatched to the 10000 block of Mill Run Circle for a report of a shooting. Officers find the victim, suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen, on the third floor of the apartment building. The victim, Thompson, provides the suspect’s name – Ismaaiyl Brinsley – and description. Police quickly learn that he stole her cell phone. Police immediately broadcast information about the suspect to the local law enforcement community. Police do not know what mode of transportation the suspect used to flee.
  • 6:32 a.m., BCoPD begins tracking the victim’s cell phone because of an emergent situation involving a violent suspect.
  • 7:46 a.m., signals from the phone show a general location along I-95, near the Susquehanna River. BCoPD notifies the JFK barracks of the Maryland State Police.
  • Approximately 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., BCoPD track the phone north through New Jersey.
  • 10:24 a.m., BCoPD track the phone to the Lincoln Tunnel.
  • 1:30 p.m., BCoPD detectives learn from the victim’s family and friends for the first time of Instagram posts by Brinsley containing overt threats against police. BCoPD quickly located the posts, which indicate that the phone is in Brooklyn, NY.
  • About 1:45 p.m., BCoPD prepare a “wanted” flyer for distribution to relevant law enforcement agencies – specifically, NYPD.
  • 2:10 p.m., a BCoPD detective from the Violent Crimes Unit telephones NYPD’s 60th Precinct in Brooklyn to advise that a suspect wanted for a shooting that morning might be in New York and has posted threats against police. The BCoPD detective was directed to another Brooklyn precinct, the 70th Precinct, because the phone most recently had been tracked to that precinct.

The BCoPD detective spoke with a NYPD officer for about 30 minutes, providing all known details about the situation. During the phone call, the NYPD officer viewed the Instagram posts, which included photos of Brinsley.

NYPD asked BCoPD to send the “wanted” flyer – which contained the same photos shown on the Instagram posts – to the precinct fax machine. BCoPD scanned the flyer and sent it to NYPD, as requested.

NYPD also asks BCoPD to send a teletype with all relevant information to NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center, a data warehouse.

  • 2:46 p.m., BCoPD sends the “wanted” flyer. (In earlier posts, we reported that the flyer was sent at 2:10 p.m.; in fact, the flyer was sent after the conclusion of the phone conversation with NYPD that included viewing of the Instagram posts.)
  • 2:49 p.m., BCoPD sends the teletype to NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center.
  • 3 p.m., BCoPD receives a phone call from the 70th Precinct in New York advising that two NYPD officers were shot at 2:48 p.m. in another Brooklyn precinct.

The investigation has determined that Brinsley discarded the victim’s cell phone before the fatal shooting, leaving it several miles from where the two police officers were shot.

Ongoing Investigation

The investigations of the Owings Mills shooting and the murders of the NYPD officers remain active and ongoing. The police report from the Owings Mills shooting will not be released until the conclusion of these investigations.

BCoPD detectives have determined that Brinsley acted alone; there are no associates involved with the Owings Mills shooting.

There is no indication of any prior criminal activity by Brinsley in Maryland, nor is there any confirmation of gang affiliation. Police are confident Brinsley has no ties to the Baltimore area except Thompson.

The Owings Mills woman shot yesterday morning by a man believed to have murdered two New York Police Department officers Saturday afternoon has been identified. She is Shaneka Nicole Thompson, 29, of the 10000 block of Mill Run Circle in Precinct 3/Franklin.

Thompson, who was shot in the abdomen with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, remains in critical but stable condition at a nearby hospital. Because of her condition, BCoPD detectives have not yet been able to interview her. They, along with NYPD detectives who are on their way to Baltimore, hope to be able to interview her later today if her condition improves. She is expected to survive her injuries.

Detectives hope that the interview with Thompson will shed light on why the suspect, Ismaaiyl Abdula Brinsley, 28, came to Owings Mills and why he shot her. Brinsley's address is unknown and detectives believe he has no ties to the Baltimore area except Thompson. Based on preliminary information from other sources, police believe that Thompson and Brinsley had a previous romantic relationship, and they believe that relationship dates back less than a year. They have no children together, and Thompson lived alone at the Owings Mills apartment complex.

There is no indication of prior criminal activity by Brinsley in Maryland, detectives say, nor is there any confirmation of gang affiliation.

The Owings Mills shooting occurred just before 6 a.m. Saturday. Two of Thompson's neighbors heard a loud noise and called 911.

Police believe that after shooting Thomspon Brinsley stole Thompson's cell phone; this is the phone detectives used to help track Brinsley as he traveled to New York. Brinsley fled the Owings Mills scene before police arrived.

Around 1:30 p.m., a friend of Thompson's notified police about Instagram posts believed to have been made by Brinsley. These posts included overt threats to kill police officers. The posts indicated that Brinsley was in Brooklyn, NY. At about 2:10 p.m., BCoPD made a phone call to the 70th precinct in New York, advising NYPD that the phone of a suspect wanted for a shooting in Owings Mills was pinging at a location in the 70th precinct. NYPD and BCoPD discussed the threatening Instagram posts during that phone call. Also around 2:10 p.m., BCoPD faxed a "wanted" poster to NYPD with information about the suspect, Brinsley.

Two NYPD officers were murdered in Brooklyn at about 3 p.m.

BCoPD detectives recovered a round from the gun used to shoot Thompson in Owings Mills and believe this is the same gun used to murder the two NYPD officers.

The Owings Mills investigation is ongoing, and  BCoPD continues to assist NYPD with its investigation. The police report for the Owings Mills shooting is incomplete and will not be released today. BCoPD plans to release shortly the "wanted" poster sent to NYPD.

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