Police and medics were dispatched to the school in the 1100 block of Mace Avenue, in Essex, around 12:23 p.m. for a call of an officer down. First responders found the officer in his office in the basement of the school suffering from a single gunshot wound to the upper body. He was transported to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.

Based on surveillance video obtained from the school, detectives determined that the officer, identified as Officer J. Comegna, the permanent School Resource Officer for Eastern Tech, walked down the hallway alone and entered his office. Faculty heard the sound of a gunshot and responded to the SRO office where they found Officer Comegna suffering from a gunshot wound. Officer Comegna was found alone in the office. Officers recovered a single firearm from the scene, Officer Comegna’s duty weapon. Detectives have determined that a single round was fired from Officer Comegna’s duty weapon. While Officer Comegna was wearing a body-worn camera it was not activated at the time of the incident. The preliminary evidence indicates that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted and the officer’s death is being investigated as a suicide.

Eastern Tech was briefly put on lock-down status as the incident developed and was initially investigated by police but the school was dismissed on schedule. School administrators have indicated that school is expected to reopen tomorrow with crisis counselors on hand to assist any students or faculty members that may need assistance, but parents are encouraged to check with the school regarding the possibility of closure in the morning.

Officer Comegna is a 21-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department in good standing. He has been a School Resource Officer for twelve years, permanently assigned to Eastern Tech for four years. He is friend and family to many, and will be sorely missed as we work to comprehend this tragedy.