Enraged man who stole officer's gun, shot at police is killed in Highlandtown

November 13, 1992|By Michael James and Roger Twigg | Michael James and Roger Twigg,Staff Writers Staff writer David Simon contributed to this story.

A man who used a police officer's pistol to shoot and injure another officer Wednesday night in Southeast Baltimore also attempted to fire at two backup officers, but the weapon misfired, police said.

The two officers -- Nicholas Louloudis, 29, and Sgt. Reginald L. Robey, 45 -- fired at least a half dozen shots and killed the man, 29-year-old Deno Louis Gutridge of Highlandtown.

A detailed police account alleges that Mr. Gutridge -- reportedly incensed with anger over a crime he had heard about in East Baltimore earlier in the day -- attacked the officers without explanation and tried to shoot them all.

Witnesses said Mr. Gutridge had left a local bar in an apparent rage after hearing of a group of youths who attacked a boy at a fast-food restaurant. From there, police said, he went home, used a knife to stab himself, and called 911 to report he was being attacked.

Officer Louloudis went to the suspect's home in the 200 block of Fagley St. for the complaint and he was met at the door by Mr. Gutridge, who was bleeding and carrying two large knives, police said.

Moments later, Mr. Gutridge somehow grabbed the officer's 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistol, police said.

The men by that time were outside on the street. Officer Louloudis yelled, "He's got my gun" to his backup, Sgt. Frederick Dillon, 42, according to a police account of the incident.

Sergeant Dillon grabbed the gun by the barrel and began wrestling for control of it, said Agent Doug Price, a city police spokesman. "The suspect discharged the weapon" and a bullet struck Sergeant Dillon's left pinky finger and traveled beneath his bulletproof vest into his abdomen, Agent Price said.

As Sergeant Dillon fell to the ground, Sergeant Robey, 45, pulled up in his patrol car and got out. He came face to face with Mr. Gutridge, who was "wheeling around with the gun," Agent Price said.

In the next several moments, the suspect attempted to fire the Glock pistol several times but it misfired and just made a clicking noise, police said. Amid a barrage of gunfire coming from Officers Robey and Louloudis, Mr. Gutridge at one point threw the gun down and "assumed a menacing posture" with the two knives he had been carrying, police said.

Sergeant Dillon, a 20-year veteran, was listed in serious but stable condition last night. But the injury did not cause any damage to vital organs or his stomach, said Dr. Philip Militello, clinical director of the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

"The bullet didn't puncture or hurt anything. But if it had moved an eighth of an inch or a quarter of an inch, it could have killed him," Dr. Militello said. Sergeant Dillon will remain at Shock Trauma for three days and may be able to return to duty in a month or so, he said.

Officers Robey and Louloudis will handle administrative duties until a complete investigation is completed, police officials said.

Why Mr. Gutridge was in such a combative state is unclear.

Patrons at a nearby bar told police he had been agitated immediately before the shooting by a television news report about a South Baltimore youth who was beaten during an attempted robbery at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at North Avenue and St. Paul Street.

James Nail, 26, a patron of Rico's bar at Pratt and Haven streets, said Mr. Gutridge "was carrying on real strange-like and was drinking the beer hunched over at the bar." Mr. Gutridge kept repeating there was "blood all over the inside of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant," Mr. Nail said.

At 11:25 p.m., police said Mr. Gutridge went to his home, where he lives with his grandmother, and dialed 911. He reported he had been cut with a knife, police said.

When the officers arrived, they encountered Mr. Gutridge, bleeding from what appeared to be self-inflicted knife wounds.

His grandmother, Elizabeth Pinti, who witnessed the entire incident, said officers fired too many shots.

"All I know is they did a lot of shooting that was unnecessary," she said. "He was shot in the eye and temple. I can't see them shooting him any more than that."

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