Baltimore officer shoots burglary suspect

April 21, 1993|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

A 37-year-old burglary suspect was shot by an Eastern District police officer this morning during a struggle in an alley in the rear of the 900 block of N. Chapel St.

Police identified the victim as Paul Wesley Johnson, of the 2500 block of E. Biddle St. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in undetermined condition and being operated on for a gunshot wound in the right side, a spokesman said.

The shooting was the sixth this year involving city police officers -- five of them fatal. In 1992, there were eight shootings by city police officers.

The scuffle began just after 5 a.m., when residents in the 900 block of N. Chapel called police to report a house break-in, said Sam Ringgold, a police spokesman.

When Officer Carter H. Myer -- a 23-year police veteran -- arrived, Mr. Ringgold said, "he saw the suspect fleeing the house with a bag of merchandise."

The 45-year-old officer ran after the man to a yard in the rear of Chapel street, where he made the arrest and began handcuffing the suspect, the spokesman said.

As the suspect and officer struggled, the police spokesman said, the officer pulled his gun, which fired, hitting the suspect.

Police said they confiscated a bag with items believed to have been taken from the house, including some tools being used in its renovation.

Charges are pending against the suspect, police said.

Officer Myer was placed on routine administrative duties while the matter is investigated. The case will be reviewed by the state's attorney's office.

Last Friday, a 14-year-old boy was killed after being shot in the back by a city police officer after a stolen car chase.

Stuart Simms, the state's attorney, had taken that matter before a city grand jury in order to gather complete information on the shooting.

Mr. Simms said he was concerned that the recent shootings by city officers might be the result of a reaction to shootings of police.

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