Baltimore County police and prosecutors said yesterday that they will not file charges against a Milford Mill man who was shot in his bedroom Sunday morning when he went for his gun as four policemen burst into his home with a search warrant.
But police refused to release the officers' report of the shooting.
Clarence Billy Gould Sr., 52, of the 3800 block of Milford Mill Road in Rockdale, was listed in stable condition at Sinai Hospital last night, with a bullet lodged in his lung, according to his wife, Lena, who was at work during the 6 a.m. shooting.
She said Mr. Gould thought burglars were breaking into the home, and police agreed that he had been taken by surprise.
Armed with a no-knock warrant, police said they were looking for evidence linked to a series of robberies in the Liberty Road corridor over the past month.
The couple's son, Clarence Billy Gould Jr., 27, was arrested after a foot chase Friday and charged with armed robbery of a Pizza Hut in the 8600 block of Liberty Road.
Police said prior arrest records listed his address as his parents' home, although Mrs. Gould said he had not lived there for five years.
A check of Motor Vehicle Administration records showed the Goulds' address listed on their son's driver's license.
The elder Mr. Gould was still in intensive care yesterday, "just happy to be alive," his wife said.
"He still doesn't have a bad word against the police," she added. She said he had depended on police for 17 years as the owner of a liquor store on Hilton Street, and for the past four years as manager of his brother's Sugar Hill Tavern on Druid Hill Avenue, where he works nights until 2 a.m.
But Mrs. Gould said her son hasn't lived with them for years, and she was not as forgiving.
"The man worked hard, and he just came home to get some sleep. You'd think you'd be safe in your own bedroom," she said yesterday. "He was on the bed sleeping, and there's all this noise, and when he woke up, he just knew somebody's in the house and not supposed to be, and he's in his own bedroom. You never know who's breaking into your house."
They'd never experienced a break-in, she said, "and this time, it was the police breaking in.
"He has a revolver that's registered, because of the kind of work he does, and when he heard this noise, he went to get the gun from the closet. He said he didn't even have time to point it at them. He told me he never pointed it. And he would never pull a gun on a police officer."
The investigation of a dozen armed robberies along Liberty Road since Sept. 18 led to the police search Sunday morning, according to Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a departmental spokesman.
Police had obtained a court-authorized "no-knock" search warrant, allowing them to burst into the home without warning because two handguns were listed among the items being sought at the address, Sergeant Doarnberger said.
He said two hats, a black jacket and a pair of sunglasses were seized, but no guns other than Mr. Gould's were found.
Besides having the Milford Mill Road address on the younger Gould's previous records, Sergeant Doarnberger said, "We had information from undisclosed sources that he was driven there and dropped off after several recent armed robberies."
Mrs. Gould said all their five children are grown and have moved out of the house.
"It's just been me and my husband for the past four or five years," she said.
As for the shooting, Deputy State's Attorney Sue A. Schenning said she will review the reports, as she does with any shooting by police, and whether further action such as a grand jury investigation should be undertaken. "From what I know of it so far, it appears the officer was justified in his actions," she said.
Officer Andrew S. Davis, 25, who has four years on the force, was identified as the officer who did the shooting. A routine departmental investigation is also under way, Sergeant Doarnberger said.
The public version of the police report is almost devoid of information.
Sergeant Doarnberger said the homicide detectives who handle shootings by police set "a blanket policy" of not providing information as a result of "problems in the past."
Among those problems, he said, was publication of the names of witnesses identified in those reports.