Police have found the vehicle of the suspect who allegedly shot and killed a Maryland judge Thursday.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced they discovered Pedro Argote’s silver Mercedes in the area of Williamsport, Maryland.
Williamsport is about 8 miles away from where Judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, was shot at his home in the northern Maryland city of Hagerstown.
Law enforcement officials are still searching for the shooter and asked “the public to be vigilant” and on the lookout for Argote. Police described him as a 49-year-old man, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Washington County sheriff Brian Albert described the killing as a “targeted attack” against Wilkinson and said Argote should be considered “armed and dangerous.”
Argote allegedly fatally shot Wilkinson just hours after the judge ruled against him in a child custody case, authorities said Friday.
Wilkinson, a county circuit court judge, was in his own driveway – with his wife and son at home – when he was shot, Albert said. He was found around 8 p.m. and taken to a medical facility where he died, the sheriff’s office said.
Wilkinson’s death spurred a wave of heightened security for judges throughout the county. “Out of precautionary reasons, last night troopers were deployed to protect judges residing in Washington County,” Maryland State Police said Friday.
The court where Wilkinson worked now has a “high-level” of security, and all judges and court personnel are getting increased security, Circuit Court Administrative Judge Brett Wilson told CNN.
The US Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Argote’s arrest, the agency said Friday.
Wilkinson’s death marks the latest in a series of threats and attacks against judges or their families. More than 1,300 threats or possible threats among federal court personnel were investigated in fiscal year 2022, according to the US Marshals Service.