Four dead after apparent murder-suicide involving former Baltimore County officer and family

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11/19/21 10:37 a.m. — WDVM initially reported that a shooting ensued between police and the car of interest. This information has since been updated, Maryland State Police has specified that no shooting occurred between officers and the suspect.


UPDATE 11/19/21 8:04 a.m. — Maryland State Police are calling Thursday’s incident an apparent murder-suicide after identifying the people found inside the grey Ford Edge.

The woman in the front seat of the car was identified as Tia Bynum, 35, of Baltimore according to MSP. Bynum was pronounced dead on the scene by EMS. She was also considered dangerous, armed and wanted by the Baltimore County Police Department.

The man found deceased in the back of the car was identified as Robert Vicosa, 41, of Baltimore. Emergency medical service personnel pronounced Vicosa dead on the scene. He was considered a wanted fugitive for committing multiple felonies in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The two children found in the back seat were identified as Vicosa’s children, according to Maryland State Police. One child was pronounced dead on the scene, while another was transported to Meritus Medical Center where she was later pronounced deceased.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Pennsylvania State Police alerted Maryland State Police that they found the car matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle involved in numerous felonies including carjacking as well as child abduction.

PSP attempted to initiate a traffic stop. However shortly after, the car veered off the road, striking a culvert, coming to a rest off of Route 418 and Ringgold Road in Smithsburg, Md.

Maryland State Police were on the scene shortly after and troopers surrounded the car to try to make contact with the suspect to no avail.

About fifteen minutes later, Special Tactical Assault Team Element (S.T.A.T.E.) troopers and the Crisis Negotiation Team came to assist. The Crisis Negotiation Team attempted multiple verbal requests for occupants to exit the car, with no response from those inside.

After several efforts were made by teams to get in contact with the people inside the car, S.T.A.T.E. troopers tried to gain access to the car. Due to window tinting and interior fogging, they were experiencing limited visibility. Two 40 mm sponge rounds were used to break into the front passenger side window, knowing it was unoccupied, according to MSP. It was then when troopers saw the driver incapacitated with apparent gunshot wounds.

Troopers looked further inside to check on the welfare of the children, and found all four individuals appearing to have suffered apparent gunshot wounds.

Vicosa and Bynum were declared dead on scene and one of the two children was also pronounced dead. While the other child was pronounced deceased after being transported to Meritus Medical Center. All four will be examined in Baltimore for autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Maryland State Police are unaware of a motive at this time for the shooting that left four dead. So far, an assault rifle and other firearms have been located on the scene. While Route 418 and Ringgold Road in Smithsburg has since reopened.

The investigation is ongoing.


UPDATE 7:05 p.m. — Maryland State Police have confirmed that all four people, one adult man, one adult woman, and two young girls ages 6 and 7-years-old, who were in the car are dead. The two adults and one of the young girls were confirmed dead on the scene. The second girl was flown to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Md., and later died there.

MSP said that they saw all four people in the car had sustained gunshot wounds.

MSP Major Scott Keyser told WDVM that while none of the victims can be identified until the completion of next of kin notification, he does believe that all four were involved in the incidents that occurred in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Vicosa was a person of interest after his estranged wife notified police of the assault on Sunday and was at one point considered armed and dangerous after carjacking and kidnapping a man in Cockeysville, Md. Maj. Keyser said that there is no need for fear or concern in the community and is confident that both should be put at ease now.


UPDATE 5:09 p.m. — Police said that Thursday afternoon, a car matching the description in the kidnapping was stopped by police.


SMITHSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — A car police believe belongs to a former Baltimore County police officer who abducted his two daughters earlier this week was involved in a crash near Smithsburg on Thursday.

Two bodies were being covered at the location. Police said that they were dead on the scene. There is no update on the other two occupants of the car.

Police believe that the car belongs to Robert Vicosa, a former Baltimore County police officer. Vicosa’s estranged wife contacted police on Sunday to report that he had assaulted her in her home in Windsor Township, Pennsylvania, before fleeing the scene with their daughters, Aaminah Vicosa, 6, and Giana Vicosa, 7.

Image courtesy of the Baltimore Police Department.

Vicosa had offered his wife a present after their daughters went to bed. Court documents said that Vicosa and Tia Bynum, a close friend and Baltimore County police sergeant, then grabbed her and forced her down to the basement.

She said that Vicosa stayed in the home for over 24 hours and had multiple firearms.

In the following investigation, police found that Vicosa may have stayed at Bynum’s house shortly after the abductions. Bynum was not located at her home and has been suspended from duty because of her involvement in this case.

Maryland State Police is conducting the investigation. They have brought out a sniffer dog to continue the search.

The Baltimore County Police Department said that the two suspects should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

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