UPDATED: MSP Trooper Shot During Traffic Stop Near Vienna; 1 Suspect Dead & 2 Arrested


UPDATED – 03/10/23 – The Maryland State Trooper who sustained multiple injuries after being shot on the scene of a traffic stop on Route 50 in Wicomico County on March 6, 2023 is identified as Sergeant Brooks Phillips, an 18-and-a-half-year veteran of the Maryland State Police, assigned to the Easton Barrack. He received medical treatment for his injuries and was later released from TidalHealth Peninsula Regional in Salisbury. He is currently on administrative leave.

The suspect, identified as Keiford Lee Copper, III, 23, of Trappe, Maryland, was the driver of a Toyota
Prius. Copper was confirmed deceased on the scene by emergency medical service personnel. His body
was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy.

There were two other occupants in the Toyota Prius. Both were cooperative, agreed to be interviewed,
and based on the investigation were not charged with any crime.

Clarification from MSP on the arrest of the other two subjects: While assisting members of the Maryland State Police and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office in the search for the two occupants, an armed sworn investigator with the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, who now holds his police commission through the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, observed the two suspects walking along Porter Mill Road. As a recently retired Lieutenant with the Maryland State Police, this trained investigator took immediate police action. He exited his unmarked police Tahoe and took both suspects into police custody. Additional nearby police units arrived on the scene and assisted in safely apprehending both suspects. 

Maryland State Police Homicide Unit continues the investigation. Upon completion, it will be
presented to the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

The investigation is continuing.


UPDATED – 03/07/23 – 8:25am – Maryland State Police tell the Talk of Delmarva the traffic stop was for speeding – the Prius was traveling in excess of 100mph.


ORIGINAL – 03/07/23 – An investigation is underway by Maryland State Police after a trooper was shot during a traffic stop on Route 50 near Vienna. Police say the suspect is 23 year old Keiford Copper of Trappe, who was driving a Prius with two other occupants. During the traffic stop Copper pulled a firearm and fired – striking the trooper several times – the Trooper returned fire. No one in the Prius was struck and Copper drove off on eastbound Route 50.

Another trooper aided the injured trooper until EMS arrived.

Delmar Police located the Prius following it to a dead-end residential street in Delmar. When Copper tried to turn around and drive off – he hit a curb, two vehicles and a tree. Copper was the only one in the vehicle and was slumped over the steering wheel with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound – a gun was recovered from the Prius.

The other two occupants from the Prius were arrested in Hebron just after midnight.

The injured trooper, an over 18-year veteran of the MSP, was treated for non-life threatening injuries at Tidal Health and has been released. He has been placed on administrative leave, as is procedure.