Pittsville, MD – The fugitive accused of murdering Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard during an attempted arrest on Sunday night has been charged with murder, according to police.
The Maryland State Police (MSP) confirmed in a press release on Monday that 20-year-old Austin Jacob Allen Davidson has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, reckless endangerment, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.
Davidson was booked into the Wicomico County Detention Center, where he was being held without bond.
The suspect was 17 years old when he put on a mask and robbed the McDonald’s restaurant on Moravia Road in Northeast Baltimore at gunpoint in June of 2019, WMAR reported.
According to court documents, Davidson pointed a gun at a drive-thru worker and fled with an entire cash register drawer containing over $1,100.
When the suspect, who previously worked at the restaurant, returned about two weeks later, the former coworker he pointed the gun at during the robbery immediately recognized him, according to police.
The worker confronted Davidson and demanded to know why he would threaten her with a firearm, WMAR reported.
“Because I can,” he responded, according to court documents.
Other employees then grabbed the brazen robber and held him until police arrived.
Investigators searched the foster home where Davidson was living at the time and located a mask, gloves, and McDonald’s receipts dated for the day of the heist, WMAR reported.
Despite the severity of the armed attack, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge sentenced Davidson to just three years of probation in July of 2020.
The suspect was still on probation for that incident at the time of the fatal encounter between him and Deputy Hilliard.
That incident occurred at the Talbot Apartments on Gumboro Road at approximately 8:30 p.m. on June 12, the MSP said.
The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) said in a Facebook post early Monday morning that Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard was “attempting to apprehend a fugitive who was wanted on multiple felony warrants in multiple jurisdictions” when he was “gunned down.”
The shooting occurred during a foot pursuit, according to the MSP.
“Deputy Hilliard was fatally shot while attempting to apprehend the suspect,” the WCSO confirmed.
The wounded deputy was rushed to TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital in Salisbury, where he was pronounced dead, the MSP said.
Davidson was apprehended following an “extensive manhunt by dozens of law enforcement officers throughout the region,” according to the WCSO.
“The suspect was captured and is awaiting arraignment,” the WCSO said. “There is no further threat by this man to our communities.”
The MSP Homicide Unit is handling the ongoing investigation into Deputy Hilliard’s murder, WJLA reported.
Deputy Hilliard, 41, would have celebrated his 42nd birthday on Wednesday.
He served the WCSO for 16 years and was most recently assigned “back to patrol upon request,” according to his department.
Wicomico County Sheriff Michael Lewis blamed the veteran deputy’s murder on the “revolving door” of the state’s criminal justice system, WMAR reported.
“Had [Davidson] still been incarcerated, where he belonged, our deputy would still be with us here today,” Sheriff Lewis said.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan agreed, saying that “someone like this should not have been on the streets,” WMAR reported.
“Especially the judges in Baltimore City letting people out, the fact that this guy was out with not serving any jail time for an armed robbery is just unacceptable,” Hogan said.
The sheriff’s office described Deputy Hilliard as “an exemplary public servant” to both his city and the state of Maryland.
“The days ahead will be challenging, but for now, we are mourning the loss of an incredible human being,” the WCSO said.
“As an organization, we are heartbroken over this senseless and tragic murder,” the department wrote. “This loss exacts an enormous emotional toll on the Sheriff’s Office family, but we will do what is necessary and proper to honor Glenn and support those who knew and loved him.”
“Brave men and women like Glenn Hilliard put their lives in danger every day to protect our families, and I am extremely grateful to them for keeping our communities safe,” the agency said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to Glenn’s family during this difficult time.”
Deputy Hilliard leaves behind his spouse and three children.