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Man Accused Of Shooting Howard County Police Officer In Custody

Prather was taken into custody and transported in an ambulance.
WAMU/Armando Trull
Prather was taken into custody and transported in an ambulance.

The man accused of shooting a Howard County police officer on Wednesday is in custody, reported the Laurel Police Department.

 Prather mug
Stephon Prather
Howard County police say that 30-year-old officer Steven Houk was shot after he and two officers confronted 29-year-old Stephon Prather, at right, in the 9500 block of Washington Boulevard in Laurel. Police had received a call from a business about 4:30 p.m. reporting a man with a gun. Spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn says that after the exchange of gunfire, Prather ran into nearby woods.

A search was launched Wednesday evening, and by Thursday morning Prather was reported to have been apprehended in a heavily wooded area near Route 1 and Free State Drive after being spotted walking in the area. He was taken away on a stretcher after having been wounded in the leg during Wednesday's shooting.

"We had a huge presence here, obviously, since yesterday afternoon. That has paid off. We saw Prather walking down Route 1 this morning, and we were able to take him into custody. He's en route to Shock Trauma," said Howard County Police Chief William McMahon.

The gun Prather allegedly used was not found, and police are looking for it.

Spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said at a news conference that Houk remains in serious condition at Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

"Our thoughts and our prayers are with Office Houk and his family. We spent considerable time with him and his family yesterday in Shock Trauma, he's still in serious condition," said McMahon.

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