Four people were found dead inside a car Thursday in what police say are alleged murder-suicides involving two ex-Maryland officers and two children.
Authorities identified Robert Vicosa, 41, of Baltimore, as one of the four dead. Police said he violently assaulted his estranged wife over the weekend and took the couple’s young daughters: Giana Vicosa, 7, and Aaminah, 6.
Vicosa was an officer at the Baltimore County Police Department, but his work history was covered by disobedience and was terminated in August 2021 after numerous reprimands, according to a summary of cases provided by the police department.
Vicosa robbed and kidnapped a driver Wednesday afternoon, Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt told a news conference Thursday. He had a handgun and was accompanied by two young girls and a Baltimore County Police Sgt. Such Bynum, police said.
Bynum, 35, was also found dead in the car. Police suspected she was helping keep Vicosa’s estranged wife captive. Both Vicosa and Bynum were considered armed and dangerous by police.
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Police believe the two youths found in the car were Vicosa’s children. One was declared dead at the scene and the other was transported to a hospital where she was later declared dead.
At a press conference earlier this week, York Regional Police Chief Tim Damon read a statement from the girls ’mother whose name has not been released.
“I would like the public to know that Giana and Aaminah are very loving, kind and super smart girls,” the statement begins. I am so grateful to all the friends, family, police and even strangers for their support and prayers. I anxiously await their return. I miss them, and I love them, and I need them at home. “
All four residents appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, said Elena Russo, a spokeswoman for Maryland State Police. Authorities said investigators at the scene located an assault rifle and other firearms in the vehicle.
Pennsylvania State Police tried to stop the car Thursday afternoon, Russo said as it ran off the highway and hit a fence line after crossing from Pennsylvania to Maryland. She said Maryland soldiers surrounded the car and tried to make contact with the people inside.
“Our emergency negotiation team has made several attempts to contact the occupants of the vehicle,” Russo said. “After receiving no response and low visibility inside the vehicle due to a thick smoke layer that was contained inside the vehicle, police made entry into the passenger side.”
Police found the four dead shortly afterwards. Authorities have not identified a motive for the shooting, and the investigation is ongoing.
Contributing: Shelly Stallsmith and Teresa Boeckel, York Daily Record; The Associated Press