Update on Oct. 15, 8:27 p.m.: Montgomery County Police announced the findings by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the District of Columbia have ruled Officer Thomas J. Bomba’s death as the result of a self-inflicted injury.
Officials say Bomba was wearing his body-worn camera at the time of the shooting, but it was not activated at the time. The investigation is ongoing and police officials say that they will provide more information as it is available.
SILVER SPRING – A Montgomery County Police (MCP) officer was killed in the early morning hours of Oct. 14 in a parking garage on the corner of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring.
Officer Thomas J. Bomba, 38, called over the radio that he was responding to “disorderly subjects” found at the top of the garage. When fellow officers arrived to the scene after 8:49 a.m., they found Bomba with a gunshot wound.
The injured officer was taken to a local hospital, confirmed to be the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Northwest Washington, D.C. According to Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones, Bomba died in the hospital due to his injuries.
“We continue to investigate this event and we will do everything in our power to ascertain what transpired this morning,” Jones said.
A search for the suspect or suspects involved in the shooting is currently underway. A large number of officers from different precincts around the county were dispatched to the downtown Silver Spring area to help with the search.
Bomba was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident, Jones said. It will be a part of the investigation but no footage will be released to the public at this time. The Major Crimes Division will be conducting the investigation, viewed as a homicide, and extra police officers will patrol the Silver Spring area.
“We do not believe that there is an immediate threat to public safety,” Jones said.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) confirmed that three local schools in Silver Spring were issued shelter-in-place orders. Silver Spring International Middle School, East Silver Spring Elementary School and Sligo Creek Elementary School were all issued the order to stay inside and continue normal instruction. Individuals could not leave the building until school officials were given an “all clear” notice.
Bomba, 38, was a 13-year veteran assigned to the third district. He leaves behind a wife and two children. Police officials are asking for the public’s help for tips to determine what happened at the top of the garage.
“It is a tough loss for everybody,” County Executive Marc Elrich said. “I know everyone is feeling a lot of pain over this and it has been a very difficult day. I trust the police will carry out an investigation and we will get to the bottom of this and we will hold people accountable.”
The story is still ongoing and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.