Off-duty officer kills holdup man

December 03, 1993|By Michael James and David Michael Ettlin | Michael James and David Michael Ettlin,Staff Writers Staff Writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

An off-duty Baltimore police sergeant shot and killed one gunman and seriously wounded another last night in a lobby shootout that ended a robbery attempt at a Woodlawn motel, Baltimore County police said.

Sgt. Kenneth Anderson, who was moonlighting as a guard at the Days Inn on Security Boulevard, was wounded in the left hand during the gunfight, and a motel patron was shot in the lower leg or foot.

The gunfire nearly emptied the adjoining Pargo's restaurant, separated from the lobby only by a connecting door. Customers rushed to the exits, leaving about $600 worth of food on their tables and bills unpaid, according to police.

Sergeant Anderson, 42, of the city's Southwestern District, was sitting on a couch near the registration desk about 8:30 p.m. when two men walked into the lobby, asked a clerk about a room for the night and then announced the holdup.

The policeman stood up, identified himself and pulled out his 9 mm Glock semiautomatic pistol. The robbers -- one with a handgun concealed by a paper bag on his hand, the other with a shotgun concealed by his overcoat -- immediately opened fire, according to Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a county police spokesman.

The officer returned the shots. The man with the shotgun suffered a fatal head wound, and the other man managed to grab his fallen accomplice's weapon and flee to a car outside that apparently was driven by a third person, police said.

Several minutes later, police said, a woman accompanying a wounded man walked into the Woodlawn volunteer fire station about a mile from the motel. "She told them, 'He's been shot,' " Sergeant Doarnberger said.

Firefighters treated the injured man before he was taken to Sinai Hospital. He had been shot in the torso and was in serious condition, officials said.

Neither the dead man nor the wounded suspect was identified immediately.

Sergeant Anderson, a 22-year veteran of the city force, was taken to Union Memorial Hospital which has a clinic specializing in hand injuries.

The injured motel patron, James Lovelace of Washington, was taken to St. Agnes Hospital. He was sitting up on the stretcher wearing his coat and hat, and did not appear badly hurt.

"The curious thing is the surviving suspect apparently grabbed the guns and took off. There's no sign of them [the guns], and the getaway car is missing," Sergeant Doarnberger said.

Police held the woman for questioning. There was no description of the getaway car, which was being sought early today.

A motel guest who would not give her name, wearing nightclothes and peeking out of her door on the first floor, said, "All I know is I was trying to get some rest and I heard all these gunshots, and everyone was screaming that there was a shootout in the lobby."

Police said one of the restaurant customers -- an off-duty undercover city policewoman -- ran for the motel lobby rather than the parking lot. But the gunfight happened so quickly that the surviving bandit was already gone, police said.

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