Local News

Smithfield police: Officers shoot, kill gun-wielding suspect

Posted August 13, 2012

— Smithfield police shot and killed a Maryland man Sunday night who, they say, pointed a gun at officers and assaulted a man whom neighbors identified as his cousin.

Residents near 208 North St. said they heard two men arguing loudly and then gunshots around 9:30 p.m., and several people called 911.

Lt. R.K. Powell said that officers found Darryl C. Wiggins, who was holding a handgun, and an injured man – who the property owner identified as Maurice Wiggins – outside an upstairs apartment. Police said they ordered Darryl Wiggins to drop the gun, but he pointed it at them and threatened to kill the injured man, prompting officers to fire. 

"When they arrived at the scene, they encountered Mr. Wiggins. He had the handgun," said police Lt. Keith Powell. "He refused to cooperate or follow any commands by the officers and was shot."

Darryl Wiggins, 47, of Baltimore, died at Johnston Medical Center, while the wounded man was taken there to be treated for head injuries. Authorities had not released his condition or identity Monday, but neighbors said his relatives told them that he and Darryl Wiggins were cousins.

The property owner, Ann Hobgood, said Maurice Wiggins had rented from her for a year without any problems.

"Never had any problems with him, no issues – extremely good tenant," she said.

Gunman killed by Smithfield police Gunman killed by Smithfield police

Sherman Wiggins, Darryl Wiggins' brother, said he brought his brother to Smithfield to visit with family. He said he doesn't think his brother posed a real threat to anyone and that he believes he tried to surrender at some point.

"He didn't have to die," Sherman Wiggins said.

Residents described the shooting as a scary aberration in an historic neighborhood, largely full of owner-occupied homes. 

"It was quite frightening. There was quite a standoff," said neighbor Laurie Burch. 

She said her property backs up to the apartment building where the shooting happened.

"We were afraid. we couldn't believe it because we had been in the yard earlier," she said. "Plus, our bedroom is right in the back of our house."

The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the shooting, and the officers involved were placed on administrative duty during the investigation. Both measures are standard procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting.

Powell said it was the first time during his 19 years as a law enforcement officer that a police force on which he serves was involved in a shooting.

"It's really nerve-wracking because you don't know who's been injured. It's a wait-and-see game," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • bushido2298 Aug 21, 2012

    "a gun shot was reported before the 911 call was made" " He didn't have a gun, he didn't , I don't think he did" Ummmmm sounds to me it was a active shooter call. The brother being interviewed is clearly unsure of what really happened. I suppose the "shots fired" 911 call shouldn't have alarmed the Police? It alarmed the neighbors enough to call 911. Let the facts come to light in the investigation and then we can either eat crow or thank our Law Enforcement for doing their low paying job.

  • thepeopleschamp Aug 15, 2012

    "Why dont they just take their victims out of town and do them there and claim they escaped and keep all this negativity to a minumum." greg69innc

    Once again this poster is allowed to accuse innocent people of murder with no facts at all, and my comments are not allowed??? Greg69innc, if you hate the police so bad that means you must love criminals more, criminals include child molesters = greg69innc loves child molesters. Now I have also accused someone of something with no facts, lets see if I get equal treatment.

  • greg69innc Aug 15, 2012

    Why dont they just take their victims out of town and do them there and claim they escaped and keep all this negativity to a minumum.

  • mojo nailing rb Aug 14, 2012

    The po-po cant do no wrong sympathizers are really scary because they just blindly accept whatever is the "official" release concerning what happened.

  • jjordan231179 Aug 14, 2012

    The law enforcement haters who post here never cease to amaze me. For all of you, when someone is committing a crime against you, call a crack head.
    August 14, 2012 12:02 p.m.
    Report abuse

    Its called a CCW.

  • oldcorp Aug 14, 2012

    Those of you who hate any order imposed by the presence of governmental authority in the form of law enforcement might wanna move to someplace like Somalia or Rwanda. I think you'd really enjoy it. No consequences for any actions whatsoever - just have at it and survive the best way you can.

  • mojo nailing rb Aug 14, 2012

    "I no longer have to pretend to like those who despised me."

    You ever thing there was a reason those people despised you and things like this man being murdered might have had something to do with that despise?

  • smegma Aug 14, 2012

    why is it so complicating to understand you are holding a firearm in the presence of a police officer. "drop the weapon!" seems pretty simple to me. we'll discuss your problem later but for now.. DROP THE WEAPON! we all know what happens next so why test it?

  • greg69innc Aug 14, 2012

    MR. Wiggings got popped so many times they made sure he wont gonna sell them some bad stuff again.

  • sgillikin Aug 14, 2012

    As a retired police officer I would like to say thanks to those of you who have thought of the terrible impact this tragedy has had on so many lives to include extended families and those directly involved. Officers have to make split second decisions that others have lifetimes to debate. Some are good decision, some are bad. In the end however...only fools make statements about things they know nothing about and make judgments without knowing the facts. So thankful for all the years of serving those who deserved it and even more thankful I no longer have to pretend to like those who despised me.