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Maryland highway reopens, armed man still on run: police

By Molly O'Toole

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Maryland reopened a major north-south highway on Wednesday as police continued the search for an armed suspect spotted along the road, Maryland state police said.

Authorities began their search Wednesday morning in response to reports from a driver that an armed man broke a window on the driver's vehicle with a hammer. Other witnesses called reporting the man with a shotgun near the highway.

Contrary to some initial reports, the victim said the individual did not fire his weapon, according to police. No shots have been fired and no injuries have been reported.

"The interstates have been reopened at 2:45 (p.m.)," said Greg Shipley, a Maryland police spokesman. "We have made no arrests yet and have no motive. We don't understand why this occurred."

The search for the suspect continues in the same area of I-295 and Route 195 in Anne Arundel County, though authorities no longer believe he is in the immediate vicinity of the interstate, Shipley told Reuters Wednesday afternoon.

I-295 was initially closed in both directions at Route 195 south of Baltimore.

The closures also caused severe traffic delays for miles.

On one bus from New York City to Washington delayed on I-295, frustrated passengers attempted to assist the driver with directions after the impromptu detour caused by the highway closures. The search added nearly three hours to the trip.

The search area is near the Baltimore Washington National Airport, and transportation authorities are assisting the investigation.

"Not more there than there normally would be," Shipley said of concern that the armed suspect might be in the proximity of BWI airport. "We're obviously concerned a man is walking around armed and we're going to do everything we can do to find him."

More details on the suspect have also been released.

The man is thought to be a white male 60 to 65 years old, at 5'8 and 150 pounds with gray hair and a red and blue plaid shirt - "possibly flannel," said Shipley.

He described a coordinated search effort from a number of agencies that includes canines, helicopters, and swat teams.

(Editing by Jerry Norton)

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