Schizophrenic man killed by officer after alleged scuffle

December 28, 1991

A 42-year-old Cherry Hill man with a history of mental disorders was shot and killed by police yesterday after allegedly lunging at officers with a box-cutter, Baltimore police said.

Officers had gone to the 2300 block of Terra Firma Road in Cherry Hill about 1:30 p.m. to investigate a domestic dispute in which the man's wife claimed he had beat her and refused to allow her to feed their baby girl, police said.

Ronald Gilmore was shot once in the shoulder and died at the scene.

Dennis S. Hill, a police spokesman, said Officer Denise Wilkes, 30, initially met the victim's wife, Donna Gilmore, near her apartment in the 3000 block of Southland Road. Mrs. Gilmore told the officer that her husband had beaten her and taken their 4-month-old daughter, Mr. Hill said.

Officer Wilkes, a five-year veteran, knew Mr. Gilmore and called for assistance. Officer Wilkes, Officer Kirk C. Hastings, 37, and Mrs. Gilmore then went to the apartment, where Mr. Gilmore let them in and gave his wife the baby.

Mr. Hill said the officers tried to handcuff Mr. Gilmore, but he threw Officer Wilkes against a wall and knocked Officer Hastings over an ottoman. As Officer Hastings tried to stand up, Mr. Gilmore allegedly pulled a box-cutter from his pocket and started slashing at him. Officer Wilkes told him to drop the box-cutter, then shot him in his left shoulder as he attacked Officer Hastings a second time, police said.

Mr. Gilmore, an unemployed Vietnam-era veteran, had a history of violence, had been institutionalized

several times and was a diagnosed chronic schizophrenic, police said.

Officer Wilkes remains on active duty while police investigate the shooting. Mr. Hill said police saw no need to take immediate action.

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