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2 dead in Salisbury shooting; off-duty trooper fires shots

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Police say two men are dead after a gunfight in which an off-duty Maryland state trooper intervened and fired shots.

Maryland State Police on Sunday identified the deceased as 27-year-old Michael T. Ward Jr. and 21-year-old Jaquan M. Griffin, both of Salisbury.

State police say two off-duty troopers were working security about 2 a.m. Sunday at a Denny's restaurant in Salisbury when they saw a crowd gather in the parking lot and then heard shots fired.

One trooper called Salisbury police, and the other approached the crowd.

Police say the trooper, a seven-year veteran, saw Ward firing a handgun. Police say Ward then turned toward the trooper and began firing. Police say the trooper returned fire.

A few minutes later, police say, Griffin walked into the restaurant and fell to the floor.

Police say they believe Ward shot Griffin. They are unsure if Ward was fatally wounded by Griffin or the trooper. Autopsies are being conducted, and state police are continuing their investigation. Internal Affairs officers are involved in the investigation, which police say is routine for all shootings involving a trooper and deadly force.

Neither trooper was injured.

Ward and Griffin were African-American, police said. The trooper who fired at Ward is white.

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