Police marksman ends siege

February 16, 1994|By David Michael Ettlin and Richard Irwin | David Michael Ettlin and Richard Irwin,Sun Staff Writers Sun Staff Writer Robert Hilson Jr. contributed to this article.

A city police sharpshooter today critically wounded an Edmondson Village man who tried to force the muzzle of a pistol into the mouth of a 2-year-old girl he had already shot once, police said.

The girl, Sade Juanita Katrina Jones, was shot in the face and side as a hostage situation that lasted more than four hours ended, said police spokesman Sam Ringgold.

She was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and later transferred to University Medical Center's pediatric intensive care, where she was listed in critical but stable condition.

The shooter, whom police identified as Keith Brown, 28, was shot once in the jaw.

Police said he lived with his girlfriend, Andrea Brown, 23, and had fired several shots and thrown furniture from windows of the third floor apartment shortly before he was shot at 1:30 a.m.

Mr. Ringgold said the marksman "had been given the green light if he had a clear line of fire."

Mr. Brown also was admitted to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was in critical condition and undergoing surgery today.

Sade and her brother were held hostage at the gunman's girlfriend's apartment in the 1200 block of Woodington Road at the Edmondale Apartments near Edmondson Village.

The boy, Kenyon Princeton Brown, 4, received cuts on his back and a bruised ear. He was taken to University Hospital and was being treated for his injuries.

About 20 minutes after the marksman's bullet hit the gunman, the children were carried from the building to an ambulance several blocks away. The boy was wearing a policeman's hat and jacket as protection from the cold while an officer carried him. His sister was behind him, wrapped in a white blanket and carried by a Fire Department paramedic.

Mr. Ringgold said the girl was subdued and had dried blood in her mouth and on her clothing that had apparently been there for a couple of hours.

"At that point, the little girl seemed to be pretty drained," Mr. Ringgold said.

The gunman was shot by a sharpshooter positioned in a wooded area about 100 feet from the apartment. A .25 caliber handgun was found in the apartment when the man was arrested, Mr. Ringgold said.

According to police, the couple began arguing and fighting earlier in the evening over letters the woman reportedly received from her daughter's father, an inmate at the city Detention Center. Mr. Brown, police said, struck the woman several times and injured her arm.

Believing her arm was broken, she left the apartment and went to St. Agnes Hospital, police said.

It was during her absence, police said, that the man assaulted at least one of the children, tore up the apartment and fired several shots from the apartment's living room window.

The girlfriend returned to the area during the stand-off and assisted police.

When police arrived, the man continued shooting, causing officers to seek shelter behind their patrol cars.

Extra units were dispatched to the scene and the police Quick Response Team also was dispatched.

Melvin Taylor, who lives next door, said he and his 13-year-old daughter, Ebony, stayed inside their apartment last night and watched the hostage situation unfold on television news.

He heard the loud ring of gunfire when the sharpshooter fired the shot that ended the standoff. This morning, Mr. Taylor said Ebony and her brother Erron asked him if the family could move from the apartment complex.

"She was shocked. She was worried that the same thing would happen again," Mr. Taylor said. "They want to move and I said, 'You have this every day and this happens everywhere. It just happened close to home last night.'"

During the standoff, police blocked traffic, took up strategic positions around the two-story apartment building and evacuated some apartments.

Several evacuated neighbors sat in police cars, waiting for the tense situation to be resolved.

One of them, Patricia Brown, who lives below the man's apartment, said she heard shots and what sounded like people fighting in the apartment above her.

Police said Ms. Brown and others were evacuated for fear the man would fire the gun into adjoining apartments.

The man talked to negotiators by telephone several times, ending conversations by hanging up and then not answering when the police would ring the apartment again.

Dr. Wayne Hunt, a psychologist for the state's Department of Corrections, arrived and monitored the man's conduct. He advised Col. Leon Tomlin, who was in charge of the operation, as bTC to what the man might do and how best to deal with him.

"The doctor gave us a very good insight on what to expect from the man and that helped us decide the best course of action," Colonel Tomlin said.

Lt. Sam Tress, in charge of the police negotiations team, said the man sounded very tense over the phone and seemed capable of harming the children, himself and anyone who tried to intervene.

"The longest we talked to him" said Lieutenant Tress, "was no more than a minute or two."

Police said the man at one point fired the gun while dangling the little girl out of the window.

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