Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, was found dead at his Hagerstown home Thursday night after a reported shooting, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday. Deputies found Wilkinson in the driveway with apparent gunshot wounds. He was taken to an area hospital, where he later died, according to Nexstar’s WDVM.
Wilkinson’s wife and son were in the home at the time of the shooting.
The sheriff’s office said they are “actively working” to apprehend Pedro Manuel Argote, 49, of Frederick, Maryland, for the “targeted attack” of Wilkinson.
The online court system for the Washington County Circuit Court showed that Argote had a divorce case before Wilkinson and that a hearing took place earlier in the day on Thursday. Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert said Wilkinson gave custody of Argote’s children to the Argote’s wife. Argote, himself, was not at the hearing.
In his initial court filing, Argote accused his wife of neglecting her homeschooling responsibilities and failing to properly supervise the children. But she filed a countercomplaint, accusing Argote of “cruel treatment” and saying she couldn’t support herself financially.
Days later, his wife requested a protective order, saying he was harassing her via text, controlling her every move, threatening to abuse their daughter and making false accusations against her.
A judge granted a temporary protective order — which included a directive for Argote to surrender his firearms — but it was dismissed weeks later at the wife’s request, court records show.
Argote’s children — ages 12, 11, 5, and 3 — and their mother are in protective custody as the search for Argote continues, authorities said Saturday night.
According to the U.S. Marshal Service, Argote has ties to Brooklyn and Long Island, New York; Tampa and Clearwater, Florida; Columbus, Indiana; and North Carolina.
On Saturday, the SUV Argote was believed to be driving was found in a wooded area in Williamsport, Maryland, roughly 11 miles outside Hagerstown along the West Virginia border.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to Argote’s arrest. Argote should be considered armed and dangerous, authorities said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the U.S. Marshals at 1-877-WANTED2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.