Suspected pusher slain after chase in Southwest Baltimore

January 10, 1991|By Susan Schoenberger

A Southwestern District police officer killed a suspected drug dealer last night after the suspect pointed a gun at two officers during a chase, Baltimore police said.

Police spokesman Dennis S. Hill said the suspect is from New Jersey but would not identify him last night because his relatives had not been notified.

Mr. Hill gave this account of the shooting:

Five plainclothes officers from the Southwestern District Drug Enforcement Unit were monitoring drug transactions at the corner of Winchester and Poplar Grove streets yesterday evening. About 7:30 p.m., the officers saw a dealer sell drugs to a customer and arrested the customer. Two of the officers then identified themselves as police and ordered the dealer, who had moved away from the transaction, to stop.

The suspect ran down the 2700 block of Winchester Street, chased by the two officers, and turned into an alley on the south side of the street. The man ran about 120 feet into the alley and then fell to the ground. He turned over and pointed a .45-caliber semiautomatic gun at the two officers, according to police.

One of the officers, Robert L. Smith, 34, fired five shots, hitting the man four times. The suspect, who did not fire his gun, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr. Hill said police recovered the gun, seven rounds of ammunition and a wad of cash from the man, who was wearing a blue bathrobe, a shoulder holster, pants and white socks. Bedroom slippers that were on his feet during the drug transaction came off during the chase, Mr. Hill said.

Officer Smith, who has been with the police department for two years, will be placed on administrative duty while police and the state's attorney's office investigate the shooting.

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