Columbia BJ's shooting: Howard Carvel Smith shot by police

Howard Smith was shot outside the BJ's in Columbia, Md. (Photo: Brad Bell)

A man suspected of shoplifting Wednesday at a BJ's store in Columbia was shot by a police officer and is in critical condition, officials say.

The shooting happened at the BJ's on Snowden River Parkway in Columbia, Howard County Police say. Authorities say the suspect, identified as{ }Howard Carvel Smith, 33, of Columbia, pulled a knife on store security guards after he was caught stealing.

Police say Smith then ran from the store and tried to get on a nearby bus, breaking a window in the process. When he tried to run back into the store's tire center, he got into a struggle with an officer.

During that struggle, Smith was shot. He was taken to a shock trauma center for treatment and on Thursday remained in critical condition.

Smith had a warrant issued for his arrest for a probation violation.

“When our officer arrived he found the man inside the tire area of the BJ's brandishing the knife, refusing to drop it and ultimately in that confrontation he was shot,” said Sherry Llewelyn, a police spokeswoman.

The officer who shot Smith,{ }David Sharpe, an 8-year veteran, was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard in a police shooting.