Man suspected of shooting Howard County officer is in custody

UPDATE (12:38 p.m.) -- Howard County police found a handgun deep inside a Laurel storm drain and believe it may belong to Stephon Prather, the man accused of shooting an officer Wednesday evening.

Investigators suspect Prather spent Wednesday night hiding in the storm drain.

UPDATE (9 a.m.) -- The man police say shot a Howard County officer Wednesday evening was taken into custody Thursday morning.

Before 8:30 a.m. Thursday, officers saw Stephon Prather walking along Route 1 in Laurel, the same route where the shooting took place. When officers confronted Prather, he surrendered.

No weapon was found on Prather's person and police were continuing to search the area.

He was suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg, and police suspect he sustained the injury in the initial confrontation with police Wednesday.

Prather, 29, with no fixed address, has a criminal record which includes an attempted murder charge, police said.

Prather is facing attempted murder of a police officer and multiple counts of assault after police say he injured Ofc. Steven Houk. 

"This guy took a shot at a cop we are very concerned at what he may also do," Howard County police chief William McMahon said during a Thursday morning press conference.

McMahon expressed a sense of accomplishment at taking Prather into custody and relief that no one else was injured in the process.

"Our investigation is really just beginning right now," McMahon said.

Houk remained in serious, but stable condition at Shock Trauma as of Thursday morning. The officer, who joined the department two years ago, is however responsive and talking, according to Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.

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