Fugitive is slain in shootout Murder suspect was on 10-Most-Wanted list in the state.

September 24, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff

A man on the state's 10-Most-Wanted fugitives list for 1989 homicide charges died last night during a shootout with police and an FBI agent inside a tiny East Baltimore rowhouse.

City police said the body of fugitive Andre Edward Lunn, 35, of the 2700 block of Edmondson Ave., was found at the bottom of the steps in the basement of 1300 Wirton St. shortly after 9 p.m.

The most-wanted fugitive list had just been released.

Dennis Hill, a city police spokesman, said preliminary evidence indicated that Lunn was fatally shot by a city police officer during a brief exchange of gunfire.

Hill said an autopsy would be held today to determine if Lunn was killed by a police bullet or took his own life with one of two large-caliber handguns he had with him.

"Right now," Hill said last night, "it looks like at least one of several shots fired by city police and an FBI agent may have killed him."

Lt. Robert Stanton, of the homicide squad, said evidence indicated the fatal shot apparently was fired by Officer Frank Wagner, a member of the hostage negotiating team.

"Officer Wagner was about 20 feet from Lunn as he came up from the basement," said Stanton, "and we believe the one shot Wagner fired hit Lunn in the forehead."

Shot in the right foot during the exchange of gunfire in the house and treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center was Michael Garrett, an FBI agent.

Police Arson Detective James Webb, 44, a member of the force for 18 years, was injured by bullet fragments and wood splintered when Lunn's rounds shattered a door in the kitchen.

Stanton said that Webb's left elbow appeared to have been grazed by a bullet and that his right forearm had more than a dozen small holes, as though he was hit with splintered wood.

Webb was treated at University and released.

Hill said Lunn was wanted on a warrant charging him with first-degree murder and using a handgun in a felony in connection with the death of Steven Henry Jones, 34, of southwest Baltimore, whose body was found in August 1989 behind the Giant Food supermarket in the 5100 block of Sinclair Lane.

Police said the FBI also had issued a warrant charging Lunn with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for murder.

Lunn's photo appeared along with those of six others in yesterday's Evening Sun in a story about the state's most-wanted fugitives.

Police received an anonymous tip around 7 p.m. that the fugitive was inside a house in the 1300 block of Wirton St. Wirton is a narrow, one-block long street east of the 1300 block of Greenmount Ave. that comes to a dead-end at the south wall of Green Mount Cemetery.

Around 7:20 p.m., uniformed and plainclothes officers arrived at the house and knocked on the door.

Hill said an elderly man, related to Lunn, answered the door and was talking to the police when they heard a noise coming from the basement.

Believing the noisemaker in the basement was Lunn, police ushered the elderly man out and cordoned off the street.

Police searched the first and second floors to make certain no one else was there besides Lunn.

Filling up most of the first-floor area, the officers then talked with Lunn, who remained in the basement.

At one point, Lunn invited the police into the basement to talk.

"We weren't about to send anyone downstairs," Hill said.

Hill said hostage negotiator Wagner was called and tried to talk Lunn into surrendering.

His efforts failed.

The heavily armed quick response team was dispatched, and joined other police inside.

As police continued to talk to Lunn, the house filled up with uniformed officer, detectives, the FBI, and the response team with their bulky body armor, rifles and shotguns.

Stanton said that as three quick-response team members were entering the house to relieve Wagner, three detectives and Garrett around 9 p.m., Lunn, who was armed with two 9mm handguns, made his move.

Coming up the steps firing -- the bullets hitting walls, tables, doors and windows -- Lunn came under return fire from Wagner and Garrett.

Stanton said Wagner fired once, while Garrett fired several times from his 9mm handgun.

Stanton said Lunn, firing from one gun, sprayed the kitchen with about a dozen shots.

Police retreated out the front door.

In seconds, the shooting was over. Nearly 20 shots were fired.

After waiting a few minutes, Hill said, a tear gas canister was fired into the basement to make certain that Lunn was disabled.

"If he was able to move," said Hill, "the tear gas would have flushed him out."

Hill said police entered the basement when the tear gas cleared and found Lunn's body at the bottom of the stairs.

In the basement, police found the two handguns and a .30-caliber rifle and ammunition.

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