Baltimore firefighter found slain He was at his home in Randallstown

December 12, 1992|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,Staff Writer

A Baltimore City fire lieutenant was slain in his Randallstown home late Thursday, apparently by an intruder who may have entered through an unlocked rear door, Baltimore County police said yesterday.

The victim, Lt. Wayne M. Prior, 28, was shot at least once in the head, police said. His body was found in his bed, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a department spokesman. "It looked like he was in bed asleep," Sergeant Doarnberger said. Lieutenant Prior's death raises to 41 the number of homicides in Baltimore County this year, seven more than any other year, police said. The previous record was 34, which occurred in four different years, most recently in 1990.

E. Jay Miller, another department spokesman, said Lieutenant Prior's wife, Elizabeth, 31, told investigators that she and her 14-year-old daughter were in another bedroom of the ranch-style house about 11 p.m. when she heard a scuffle and the sound of several shots in the other bedroom.

She told investigators she called to her husband and, receiving no answer, went to the second bedroom, where she found him dead, Mr. Miller said. Sergeant Doarnberger said she did not report hearing anyone run from the house in the 8500 block of Allenswood Road, and he said there appeared to be no evidence of a struggle. The shooting occurred during a fierce overnight storm.

A French door from the dining room was customarily left open, he said. Police said kitchen cabinet doors were open and there appeared to have been "light ransacking." Some personal property, including jewelry, was reported missing, police said.

Five unoccupied houses have been broken into since September in the immediate area, Sergeant Doarnberger said.

Lieutenant Prior joined the city Fire Department in April 1987. He was promoted to lieutenant earlier this year and was assigned to Aerial Tower No. 128 on Chesapeake Avenue in Fairfield, said Capt. Hector Torres, a Fire Department spokesman.

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