A Baltimore County Police officer was working as a school resource officer at Eastern Technical High School in Essex when he shot and killed himself Monday, according to reports.
Officer Joseph Comegna, a 21-year veteran of the force, was rushed to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center for self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
At about 12:23 p.m., faculty at the school heard a sound come from Comenga's basement office. When they arrived, they found him alone suffering from a gunshot wound, according to police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach.
His service weapon was found in the room, and investigators believe he shot himself. Investigators also reviewed surveillance camera footage and confirmed that Comegna entered the office alone, Peach said.
Comegna was also wearing a body camera, but Peach said investigators believe it was turned off at the time of the incident.
The school was placed on lockdown and students were removed from the area. Peach said that, while no students were likely to have seen the fatality, it is possible that some students could have heard the gunshot, just like the school staff who responded.
The school was dismissed at the regular time, but all after-school and evening activities were canceled, the Baltimore County Public School system said.
“I am saddened to learn about the death of Officer Joseph Comegna, the school resource officer at Eastern Technical High,” Interim schools Superintendent Verletta White said.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Baltimore County Police Department, and Eastern Tech’s students and staff. We will be sure to have a traumatic loss team at the school to support students and staff Tuesday," she said.
The school is scheduled to be open Tuesday, and the police department is still investigating, Peach said. She could not provide the possible motive to Comegna's death.
Comegna had been an RSO at Eastern Tech the last four years and had been an RSO for 12 years. Comegna was once quoted in a newsletter for the Foundation for a Drug-Free World:
“It is great to be able to give the kids what they need for the future,” he said. “As a police officer, you are usually at the end of the game with people. But with kids, you can start from the beginning.
“That’s what’s good about working with kids. You can change the outcome — you can change the outcome in that person’s life.”
Please keep everyone involved in your thoughts and prayers.