Off-duty police officer fatally shoots man armed with pellet gun at theater

August 21, 1993|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

An off-duty city police officer shot and killed a 41-year-old man yesterday in a corridor of a Northwest Baltimore movie theater, where the man pointed a pellet gun resembling a .357-caliber Magnum revolver at the officer, police said.

Officer Harold Carey, 23, who was at the theater to see a movie with his wife, discharged all 17 rounds of ammunition from his 9-mm Glock service pistol, killing Michael R. Goodman, a police report said. Police officials said it appears Mr. Goodman was shot a minimum of 13 or 14 times, although an exact count cannot be confirmed until an autopsy is performed.

The officer fired so many shots because Mr. Goodman remained upright, the revolver in his hand, after being shot several times, a police source said last night.

The confrontation occurred at the Loews 5-Star Theater in Reisterstown Road Plaza, in the 6700 block of Reisterstown Road. Mr. Goodman, an unlicensed cab driver, or "hacker," who used his yellow 1977 Cadillac to pick up fares, dropped off a rider in front of the theater about 3 p.m., police said.

Mr. Goodman became angry at the passenger for an unknown reason and the two were seen arguing in a corridor near the ticket office, said Sam Ringgold, a police spokesman. "It's unclear what they were arguing about, but at some point [Mr. Goodman] pulled out a gun that was an exact replica of a .357 Colt Python," Mr. Ringgold said.

An employee of the theater became alarmed when he saw Mr. Goodman carrying the gun and called 911 for help, the spokesman said. At almost the same time, Officer Carey was standing in line to see a movie with his wife and heard the commotion, Mr. Ringgold said.

Officer Carey, with his badge in his hand, approached Mr. Goodman and identified himself as a police officer, Mr. Ringgold said.

A police report said Officer Carey repeatedly told Mr. Goodman to put the gun down but he refused. Mr. Goodman pointed the gun at the officer, according to the report.

"The officer then fired and hit the suspect multiple times in the chest area," Mr. Ringgold said. "He [Officer Carey] had no way of knowing that the gun in question was a pellet gun. It looked exactly like a .357."

Mr. Goodman, of the 2200 block of Wheatley Drive in Baltimore, was pronounced dead at the scene. At least a dozen people were in the area of the shooting, although no one else was injured, police said.

Larry Matthews, who was at the theater to see a movie when the shooting occurred, said he heard more shots than he could count.

"It was strange. I heard all these popping noises. I thought the popcorn machine blew up," he said.

Officer Carey, a Central District officer who joined the force in June 1992, will be assigned to administrative duty until a departmental investigation is complete. The action is routine in all shootings by police.

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