Police identified Prather from a surveillance video, Llewellyn said.
The wounded officer, Steven Houk, 30, a two-year member of the Howard police force, was airlifted to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after the shooting Wednesday afternoon. At an evening news conference, Llewellyn said that she did not have specific information about Houk’s injuries but that he was talking and alert.
“We think that is really promising,” she said.
Llewellyn said that an employee of a business on Route 1, which runs roughly parallel to Interstate 95, called police about 4 p.m. to report a man with a gun in the North Laurel-Savage area.
As three officers approached the area of the 9500 block of Route 1 — known in that stretch as Washington Boulevard — the man “immediately opened fire,” Llewellyn said. She said that one officer was struck and that at least one officer returned fire. It was not known whether Houk fired his weapon or whether the officers and the gunman had exchanged words.
It also was not known whether the man was wounded, Llewellyn said.
The gunman darted into the woods near the highway. Police urged residents in the area to exercise caution.
The shooter was described as a black man, about 30 years old, 6 feet 2 and 280 pounds. He was wearing gray pants and a black jacket, police said.
Helicopters circled as officers from Howard, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties, the city of Laurel and Maryland State Police searched the area. Llewellyn called it “all hands on deck.” She asked residents of the area “to just have some patience.”
“We advise people all the time that their doors and windows should be locked,” she said.