News Feature | October 13, 2017

Utility Employee Injures Self In Facility Shooting Cover-Up

Peter Chawaga - editor

By Peter Chawaga, Associate Editor, Water Online

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When authorities arrived at a drinking water treatment plant in Maryland earlier this year, they thought they were responding to an attack on a utility employee. As it turns out, they now believe that employee injured himself.

Police officers responded to a report of a shooting at a water treatment plant. An employee of the facility, Bradley M. Dick, told investigators that he was performing routine checks at the plant when he heard gunshots. But he is now thought to have misled the officers.

“Authorities said they believe a former Washington County employee who allegedly fired gunshots at the Washington County Water Treatment Facility last month wounded himself in the leg to give the impression he was being fired upon,” according to Herald-Mail Media. “Bradley M. Dick, 32 … was charged in a summons with making a false statement to officers and malicious destruction of property less than $1,000, according to online court documents and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.”

During the initial investigation, detectives found bullet impacts in the ground near a rear gate and on the door to the facility. They also found bullet fragments on a walkway in front of the building. All of this evidence aligned with Dick’s report of an unknown shooter. But when a forensic scientist began investigating, aspects of the story did not line up.

“Using a tripod and trajectory rod, the forensic scientist evaluated the apparent bullet impact site, and used a tape measure and angle meter to evaluate the impact locations on the door of the building,” Herald-Mail Media reported. “The analysis determined that the bullet could not have originated from the place where Dick claimed the shooter was positioned.”

Investigators found out that Dick owned a .22-caliber revolver, which could have produced the bullet fragments found on the scene. According to the report, he used a nail to inflict the injury on his leg that he later claimed was a bullet wound.

“[Dick’s] employment with the county has since been terminated,” Herald-Mail Media reported. “His preliminary hearing is scheduled Dec. 5 in district court.”

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Top Image credit: “Colt," MoFasterMo, 2017, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license:https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/