Teen had mother's OK to borrow car 19-year-old driver shot to death by police at Woodlawn High after alleged theft from car.

September 24, 1991|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Evening Sun Staff Alisa Samuels and Richard Irwin contributed to this story.

Yvonne Martin said her 19-year-old son finished his nighttime post office shift at 6:30 a.m. yesterday and had her permission to drive her Dodge Raider sport-utility vehicle.

"I don't even know what happened," she said later in the day, after she learned that her son, Sadiq A. Martin of the 2900 block of Silverhill Ave., was shot to death by a Baltimore County police officer about 10 a.m. on the grounds of Woodlawn High School.

Police today said they were continuing to investigate the circumstances of the shooting.

Police said Martin, pronounced dead at St. Agnes Hospital about 11:15 a.m. yesterday, was driving the Dodge four-wheel-drive vehicle straight at a county officer after fleeing pursuing patrol cars and brushing two other officers who approached his vehicle on foot.

Officer Timothy Mitchem, 29, a four-year veteran, told his superiors that he fired two shots through the windshield of the vehicle, which was carrying two other young men, as it moved toward him and his partner. A police spokesman said today that Mitchem fired six shots.

Also, police are looking into the theory that another officer's gun discharged into the side of the vehicle as he went to open the door as the vehicle slowed, Sgt. Stephen Doarnberger said. Another police spokesman, E. Jay Miller, said the guns of all five officers near the scene were collected after the shooting to determine whose shot hit Sadiq Martin in the chest.

Mitchem was placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

Meanwhile, Theron C. Hill, 20, of the 5500 block of Gwynn Oak Ave., a passenger in the Raider, was charged with grand theft of auto accessories, conspiracy to commit grand theft, destruction property, and being a rogue and vagabond.

He was released today into the custody of his parents after a bail review before District Court Judge John C. Coolahan in Catonsville.

According to a pre-release investigation report, Hill is a part-time student at the Community College of Baltimore and a part-time mechanic at the Montgomery Wards store at Security Square Mall.

A 17-year-old was charged with the same crimes, but as a juvenile, police said. He also was released into the custody of his parents.

Miller said the incident began just before 10 a.m. yesterday when a Woodlawn precinct patrol officer noticed the Dodge, occupied by three young men, cruising the parking lot.

hTC One man got out, and entered a parked yellow Mustang, then left that vehicle after a few minutes and re-entered the Dodge. Police said that they later found a stereo speaker had been removed from the -- of the Mustang. It was found still in the Mustang. Earlier police had said a radio was taken from the car. The police had called for backup, meanwhile, and blocked the exit of the parking lot to Woodlawn Drive.

The Dodge sped across the school athletic fields toward Gwynn Oak Avenue, as police closed in. It stopped once as two youth division officers reached the vehicle on foot. One, Miller said, had his hand on the door when the vehicle took off again, lightly brushing them. It then began circling a tree as two uniformed officers closed in on foot from Gwynn Oak Avenue, guns drawn.

Miller said the Dodge came out of its circling and hit a plain car driven by two detectives who had driven across the fields. The truck then turned around and accelerated up a steep hill, heading toward Gwynn Oaks Avenue and Mitchem and his partner.

Doarnberger said that Mitchem began back-peddling up the hill and opened fire within several feet of the oncoming truck. He fired six times, Doarnberger said. At least two shots went through the windshield.

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