4 shot dead, including 2 children, in search for ex-Baltimore officer who kidnapped daughters

Four people, including two children, are dead in the search for a former Baltimore County police officer accused of kidnapping his young daughters and committing a string of armed crimes, Maryland officials said Thursday night.

The four, who have not been identified, were found with apparent gunshot wounds in a vehicle that crashed into a fence during a pursuit in Smithsburg, Maryland, authorities said.

Officers had attempted to stop a vehicle that “matched the description of a suspect vehicle involved in an incident in Baltimore County,” Elena Russo, a public information officer with the Maryland State Police said Thursday night.

Inside the vehicle, police discovered a female driver and an adult male and juvenile in the back seat, who were pronounced dead on scene. A second juvenile in the back seat was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital, Russo said.

“Police believe they know who the individuals are, however because it is still an active crime scene investigation, we cannot release the identity of the occupants of the vehicle,” Russo said, adding that police believe the deaths “may be related to two other incidents.”

Robert Vicosa and Tia Bynum, former employees of the Baltimore County Police Department, were accused this week of taking Vicosa’s two young daughters on a crime spree in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Police believe Vicosa abducted daughters, Giana, 6, and Aaminah, 7, and took them on a series of gunpoint carjackings.

Vicosa’s estranged wife told police she had been assaulted on Sunday by Vicosa, who held her at gunpoint and fled with the girls, according to authorities and NBC affiliate WBAL.

Police said that Vicosa also kidnapped a man at gunpoint in the Cockeysville area on Wednesday, about 14 miles north of Baltimore.

Vicosa and Bynum carjacked the man and forced him to drive to various locations before releasing him without harm, Hyatt said.

Vicosa and the girls were also seen Tuesday in Felten, Pennsylvania, just over the Maryland border.

A woman there told WBAL that he was hiding out in her camper and when she discovered him, he held a gun to her.

“He wanted to tie me. ‘Anything in the camper to tie you up?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t.’ I said, ‘Take my car’ (and) got my keys, gave them to him,” said the woman, who WBAL did not identify.

He told the woman that he didn’t like the way his wife’s family was treating his daughters, and at one point left them alone with the woman.

“I said, ‘Is your daddy going to hurt me?’ She said, ‘No, my daddy is nice,’” the woman said. The three eventually left.

Bynum worked in the department’s criminal investigations bureau and was terminated Wednesday, while Vicosa was a sergeant before being demoted to an officer and ultimately getting fired earlier this year.

Vicosa, who used to go by Robert Brown, had been accused by three female officers of “viewing inappropriate videos in their presence, making inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature, and leering,” according to department records.

source: nbcnews.com