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Off-Duty Police Officer Arrested in St. Mary’s County After Shooting at Victim in Charles County

CHARLES COUNTY PRESS RELEASE: On Friday, February 23, 2024, at 1:30 a.m., officers responded to the area of Crain Highway in Newburg for the report of shots fired. The caller advised he was following a car in which the driver, who is known to him, shot at him minutes earlier. The driver, David Arthur Hardester, age 42, of Mechanicville, was identified as the person who fired the shot. He was arrested and a firearm was recovered. A preliminary investigation showed the victim and suspect arranged to meet at a parking lot near Crain Highway in Newburg. Officers from Charles and St. Mary’s County responded and located the suspect’s vehicle near Budds Creek Road where Hardester was arrested at gunpoint. When they arrived, an argument about an ongoing issue ensued and Hardester fired a single shot at the victim as he was walking away to get in his car; the victim was not struck by the gunfire. The suspect fled and the victim followed him, calling 9-1-1 and advising officers as to where the driver was. Hardester was arrested and charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, and other related charges. He is being held at the Charles County Detention Center and […]

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