Salisbury Man Killed During Scuffle With Police

SALISBURY — An armed Salisbury man was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting during an apparent scrap over a loaded gun with a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy early Tuesday morning.

The investigation revealed around 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy was patrolling in the area of Dennis Street in Salisbury when he observed two individuals walking on the street near East Rd. Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputies had been warned on Monday about threats being made to “shoot up” a house on Olivia Street, which is one block over from where the deputies observed two men walking early Tuesday morning. Residents in the area had also recently contacted the Sheriff’s Office requesting increased patrols in the area due to the threat of violence.

Early Tuesday, the deputy stopped and attempted to conduct a brief interview with the two individuals walking down the street.

When the deputy called to the men, one of them stopped, but the other, identified as Fednel Rhinvil, 25, of Salisbury, continued walking. The deputy repeated his request to stop and Rhinvil began running. The deputy pursued on foot and caught Rhinvil as he scaled a fence.

The investigation indicated a fight ensued and the deputy was pinned on the ground on his back. As he struggled to escape, the deputy saw Rhinvil pull a handgun from his pocket. Fearing for his own life, the deputy pulled his department-issued .45 caliber Glock pistol and shot Rhinvil. Emergency medical services personnel responded, but Rhinvil was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is not believed Rhinvil fired his gun, according to a Maryland State Police report on the incident. Investigators recovered a loaded and cocked revolver from the scene. It was forwarded to the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division for investigation and analysis. Rhinvil’s body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been identified as Deputy-First Class Benjamin Jones, 35, who is a 14-year veteran of the department. Jones sustained an injury to his hand during the fight with Rhinvil. He was treated at PRMC and released. Sheriff Mike Lewis has placed the deputy on routine administrative leave, as is the procedure.

He will be asking the Maryland State Police Internal Affairs Unit to conduct a concurrent investigation into the police-involved shooting. Assistance is being provided by the State Police Criminal Enforcement Division, the Salisbury Police, the Wicomico State’s Attorney’s Office and the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation.