2 held in attack on officer Shooting occurred after he stopped suspect's truck

November 02, 1993|By Glenn Small and Michael James | Glenn Small and Michael James,Staff Writers

Articles published in The Sun Tuesday and in some edition Wednesday incorrectly identified the home community of Mark Phillip French, who is charged with shooting a Baltimore County police officer. His address is in Essex.

* The Sun regrets the error.

Baltimore police yesterday arrested a man and a teen-age girl suspected in the shooting of a Baltimore County police officer who stopped a holdup suspect's truck on Pulaski Highway early Sunday morning.

Both suspects were arrested after a city police quick-response team raided a house in the 500 block of N. Bethel St. at 6:30 p.m. and confiscated 11 rifles, including an elephant gun, county police said.


Police also believe they seized the weapon used to shoot Officer James Edward Beck, a Glock 9 mm semiautomatic pistol. Investigators were checking its ballistics last night.

Mark Phillip French, 29, of the 300 block of George Ave. in Dundalk, and his girlfriend, Heather Lynn Kendall, 17, of the 700 block of Aldworth Ave., were each charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and a handgun violation, police said. Each was denied bail last night by a court commissioner in Towson. They face a bail review hearing today in District Court.

Police were led to the couple by two informants. One, a woman who knows Mr. French, told police that he admitted to her Sunday night that he had robbed a man and then shot a police officer because "it was either him or me," according to charging documents.

He allegedly told the woman that he shot Officer Beck five times, according to charging documents.

Police said in the charging documents that four or five shots had been fired and that four shell casings were recovered at the scene.

After the truck stopped, Officer Beck got out and walked toward it. When he reached the truck's rear, "the driver spun around, thrusting a handgun out of his window and firing at Officer Beck four-to-five times," the charging documents state. The officer was struck three times, twice in the chest and once in the left shoulder.

Officer Beck, 40, a 19-year veteran, was in critical but stable condition last night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

zTC The female informant described Mr. French as a drug user who "often times wears a bullet-proof vest," the charging documents said.

Mr. French also allegedly told the woman that he used a 9 mm Glock to shoot the officer and showed it to her, according to charging documents.

Miss Kendall, who has been charged as an adult, also told an acquaintance Sunday that she was involved in the robbery and the shooting, the charging documents state. That person identified her to police.

Asked for a comment as she was leaving the commissioner's office, Miss Kendall said, "I love you, Mom," then burst into tears.

Police said that the weapon used to shoot Officer Beck and the rifles and ammunition seized in the raid were stolen from the home of an Essex auxiliary policeman several hours before the officer was shot. Mr. French had done construction for the man, police said.

Officer Beck had pulled over a brown Ford pickup truck in the 8500 block of Pulaski Highway shortly after 3 a.m. because it matched the description of a vehicle used in a nearby robbery, police said.

Police allege Mr. French and Miss Kendall committed that robbery, which happened after a man identified as Brian A. Sherry stopped to pick up a hitchhiker on Pulaski Highway at Moravia Road, the charging documents said. She directed him to turn onto Chesaco Avenue, and then to stop in a parking lot.

Mr. Sherry said he noticed a pickup truck following him, and once he had stopped in the parking lot of the Chesaco United Methodist Church, the woman pulled a silver-plated handgun on him and demanded cash, the charging documents said. At the same time, the man driving the pick-up truck approached and threatened him with a semi-automatic handgun.

After he handed over the cash, the two robbers fled in the brown pickup, Mr. Sherry told police.

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