Baltimore man sentenced to 147 years in prison following a non-fatal gunfire exchange with Baltimore County police officers that occurred in Howard County

Justin Lee Buchanan, age 36, was sentenced to 147 years in prison today for firing shots at four Baltimore County police officers from inside his vehicle following a pursuit that ended in Elkridge, MD in May of 2020. Buchanan was found guilty, by a jury, of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, weapons violations and serious traffic offenses on July 19, 2021.

On May 21, 2020, at approximately 1:50pm, Baltimore County police officers were conducting surveillance in Landsdowne, MD, to apprehend Benjamin Lemon. Lemon had an open arrest warrant and was suspected of being involved in a Baltimore County shooting on May 19th. Lemon hopped in the rear passenger seat of a black 2014 Acura RX that was being driven by Buchanan. When officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Buchanan, the driver of the Acura, sped away from police and a pursuit began.

The pursuit started in Baltimore County before heading south into Howard County. At approximately 2:27pm, multiple shots were fired from inside the suspect’s vehicle towards Baltimore County police officers. Once officers realized they were being fired upon, they returned fire and sought cover. The incident ended just before 2:30pm in the 5700 block of Furnace Ave in Elkridge.

Buchanan and the front seat passenger sustained gunshot wounds and were taken to Shock Trauma. Lemon was not injured and taken into custody on the open Baltimore County warrant. Investigators later found a handgun at the scene and multiple spent cartridges inside the Acura. No officers were seriously injured during the incident. Evidence later showed Buchanan’s DNA on the firearm used in the shooting.

“Violence in our community will not be tolerated, and any violence against law enforcement deserves the full weight of our justice system,” said State’s Attorney Rich Gibson. “I hope that today’s sentence, handed down by the court, will act as a deterrent to anyone who thinks this kind of lawlessness will be permitted in this space.”

As part of their victim impact statement, the involved Baltimore County police officers noted the incident with Buchanan occurred on the two-year anniversary of the death of Baltimore County Police

Officer Amy Caprio saying, “the tragedy that took place on May 21, 2018, still weighs heavily with all members of the Baltimore County Police Department as well as their families.” At today’s sentencing, Howard County Circuit Court Judge Richard Bernhardt said, “Police officers wear a shield. It doesn’t protect them; it makes them a target.”

Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Unit (MCU) Michael A. McAllister prosecuted this case.


Scott E

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