Chief: Gunfire left powder burns on officer's face
Three bullets that barely missed Northern Regional Police Officer Lynn Anderson during a Sunday-night traffic stop in Manchester Township were fired from about 2 feet away, according to the chief — so close that the assailant's .380-caliber pistol left powder burns on Anderson's face.
"His face was close enough that it was in the muzzle blast," Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said. "It was very close."
Anderson, 29, pulled over a green Buick LeSabre driven by Trev Bowies Jackson II about 10 p.m. Sunday at the Manchester Crossroads Shopping Center along Route 30 in Manchester Township, according to charging documents filed Monday morning against Jackson.
Documents indicate Anderson pulled over Jackson for suspected DUI after seeing the man's westbound car swerving in and out of its lane of travel, starting around the Toronita Street intersection.
Anderson asked Jackson for his license and vehicle registration, at which point Jackson dropped his driver's license on the ground, documents state.
That's when Anderson noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the Buick, and also noticed that Jackson appeared to be under the influence of drugs, documents state.
Jackson "seemed to stall" when ordered to exit his car, but eventually stepped out, police said.
As Anderson reached for Jackson's hands to handcuff the man, Jackson turned and fired three shots at Anderson, documents state.
"Officer Anderson immediately leaned to his left and rolled to the ground and stood up and fired six shots toward Jackson," who by that time had gotten back into his car and was taking off, according to documents.
No cover: The encounter happened in the middle of a parking lot, and Anderson was too far from his cruiser to get behind it, Bentzel said.
"He had zero opportunity to get to cover," the chief said. "He removed himself as best he could from the line of fire ... and took a position, returning fire."
Bentzel said he doesn't know why Jackson fired on Anderson.
"But clearly when he pulled his gun and pointed it at the police officer, he intended to shoot to kill," the chief said.
Bullets from Anderson's service weapon struck the fleeing Buick multiple times, Bentzel confirmed; it's not yet known whether Jackson was struck by any of the officer's bullets.
When Jackson fled, he left behind his driver's license, according to the chief.
"I can't imagine it was intentional," he said.
SWAT-trained: Anderson, who has been a Northern Regional officer for about 5½ years, graduated Nov. 6 from the Maryland State Police SWAT Operators School, which consisted of four weeks of intensive training.
The chief said Anderson's SWAT training would certainly have helped him during Sunday night's attack.
Anderson, who has been honored in the past by his department for outstanding work, is off duty for now, according to Bentzel, who expects the officer will return to duty after a fairly short period of time.
"He's on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation that we (Northern Regional Police) are currently conducting to ensure compliance with policy and procedure," Bentzel said.
Car found: On Monday morning, police found Jackson's Buick abandoned in the 1800 block of North George Street in Manchester Township, according to police. Bentzel said investigators would obtain a search warrant before looking inside it.
Jackson, 24, of 114 E. College Ave. in York City, remains on the run and is considered armed and dangerous, Bentzel said.
Once captured, he will be charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault on a police officer and reckless endangerment, according to court documents.
Jackson also remains on state parole on drug and gun charges, records indicate. Parolees who incur new charges generally are punished for violating the terms of their parole, and he could be sent back to state prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Convicted felon: In 2010, Jackson pleaded guilty to drug-dealing charges after being caught twice in 2009 with cocaine, and also pleaded guilty to being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm, records state. He was sentenced to five to 10 years in state prison, with credit for time served.
Jackson did his time at SCI Forest, the state prison in Forest County, and was paroled on March 19, according to Susan McNaughton, press secretary for the state Department of Corrections.
Bentzel said the hunt for Jackson continues.
"We're getting a lot of help," he said, including from York City Police, the U.S. Marshals Service and the York County Sheriff's Office. "There are a lot of (Northern Regional) guys who are out looking, and some of them got off shift at 7 a.m. Everyone is doing what they can. ... Everyone is highly focused on taking this man into custody."
Call 911: The chief urged anyone with information on Jackson's whereabouts to call 911 immediately. He is 5-feet-7 and weighs 170 pounds, according to charging documents.
Bentzel said while traffic stops are something officers here and around the country do every day, they are never routine.
"We don't know what they know, and they don't know what we know," he said, meaning a driver being pulled over might think police know he's a violent fugitive when in fact he's being pulled over for a broken taillight and the officer is entirely unaware of the driver's fugitive status.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.