Man dies in shootout with Baltimore officer

December 10, 1990|By Ginger Thompson S. M. Khalid of The Sun's metropolitan staff contributed to this article.

A 25-year-old East Baltimore man who was reportedly threatening his estranged wife with a gun was shot to death yesterday in an exchange of shots with a city police officer, authorities said.

It was the second incident over the weekend in which a city police officer was fired on before shooting a suspect. In the other incident, a fleeing suspect was arrested Saturday night after suffering only a minor wound.

Yesterday afternoon, Nathaniel Anthony Hayes died from a bullet wound to the chest in the doorway of his wife's home in the 800 block of North Washington Street. He was killed during a gun battle with Eastern District Officer Howard G. Smith.

Officer Smith had been sent to the house when Mr. Hayes' wife called the police for help.

The patrolman, a five-year veteran of the police department, was unharmed. He was placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation into the incident.

Before the shooting, police had responded to three other domestic dispute calls at the Washington Street row house yesterday in which the suspect's wife reported that she was being threatened with a gun.

Each time police arrived, the husband, who lived in the 900 block of North Montford Avenue, was not there.

But the third time, Officer Smith found Mr. Hayes sitting on his estranged wife's front steps. As he approached Mr. Hayes, the officer ordered the suspect to put his hands above his head.

Instead, police said, Mr. Hayes reached inside his jacket, drew a gun and fired once at the officer.

The patrol officer returned fire and killed Mr. Hayes, investigators said.

Officer Smith, a five-year veteran, was not injured in the shoot-out.

According to the police, the disputes between Mr. Hayes and his wife had been going on for several months, but they could not say what the disputes were about.

In the incident Saturday night, a motorist was shot when he tried to flee from an officer who had pulled him over for a traffic violation.

Ronnie B. Nixon, 25, was treated at University Hospital for a minor gunshot wound to the buttocks. The suspect, whose address was not known, was later released from the hospital and taken into police custody. No one else was injured in the incident.

Police said just before 11 p.m., Officer Joseph Brown stopped Mr. Nixon's car in the 4400 block of Frederick Avenue. As the officer approached, a shot was fired from the car, missing him.

When the driver and his passenger attempted to flee on foot, Officer Brown shot at Mr. Nixon and hit him in the buttocks.

The other suspect escaped on foot and was believed to have a handgun, authorities said.

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