CRIME

William Payton Bell: Waldorf shooting leads to barricade during warrant execution

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WALDORF, Md. (WJLA) - A Charles County man suspected of mail fraud was shot Friday morning after he opened fire on law enforcement officers who came to serve a warrant.

Lancaster Circle, Waldorf

The suspect, William Payton Bell, 23, was taken to an area hospital in critical condition after he was seriously wounded in an exchange of gunfire with authorities.

"An occupant exited the home armed and opened fire. That individual was shot multiple times," says Maj. Rob Cleveland of the Charles County Sheriff’s office.

The incident began at the suspect's home on Lancaster Circle in Waldorf just after 8 a.m., when Charles County Sheriff's Deputies and U.S. Postal Inspection Service officers served a search and seizure warrant on Bell for alleged of mail fraud. When officers arrived, Bell walked out of his house with an automatic rifle and opened fire, police say.

Officers fired back at the suspect and struck him. Police then believed a barricade situation was in progress because they thought other people might have been in the home, but Bell turned out to be alone.

He is reportedly in stable condition.

Waldorf resident Jason Hancock rushed outside to see what was going on. He was quickly ordered back in his home. What he didn't know is that he was creeping dangerously close to the shootout.

He says he heard about 15 gunshots.

Marco Felder heard the shots as he was heading out this morning, he was abruptly stopped as he tried returning home a short time later.

"(The) officers (were) just trying to do their job," Felder says.

ABC7's John Gonzalez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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