Man shot, killed after struggle with city officer

March 14, 1994|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Sun Staff Writer

A suspected drug dealer was shot and killed early today while struggling with a city police officer who chased him down in the 400 block of E. 21st St.

The victim, Maurice Smith, 36, of the 2100 block of Boone St., died this morning at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. He had been shot in the abdomen.

The Northern District officer, whose name was withheld, was not injured.

According to Eastern District commander Maj. Alvin A. Winkler, who was duty officer last night, a call was broadcast at 2:17 a.m. that a man was selling drugs at Barclay and 21st streets. The man's description also was broadcast.

When the officer, a member of the police force for three years, arrived on the scene, he spotted the suspect standing among several other people, Major Winkler said.

The suspect broke and ran when the officer got out of his patrol car.

After chasing the suspect more than a block, the officer grabbed him near an alley.

During a struggle, nearly a dozen capsules of suspected cocaine the man was apparently carrying fell onto the street.

As the two men fought, the suspect attempted to grab the officer's 9mm Glock semiautomatic handgun.

See SHOOTING, 4A

From Page 1A

While the officer was attempting to gain control of the weapon and arrest the suspect, the suspect continued to grab for the gun and it discharged, striking the suspect in the abdomen, Major Winkler said.

L A 9mm shell casing was found about a foot from the capsules.

When the gun went off, someone called the police and reported that a policeman was fighting with another man and that a shot was fired.

L A signal 13 -- an officer needs assistance -- was broadcast.

Moments later, the intersection of Greenmount Avenue and E. 21st Street was jammed with police cars from the Northern, TC Central and Eastern districts.

The wounded man was placed in an ambulance, where his condition

was stabilized before he was taken to Shock Trauma.

Major Winkler said the officer was to be placed on administrative duty pending an investigation of the incident.

"It appears the officer was trying to protect himself when the gun discharged," Major Winkler said.

Major Winkler said a woman who said she witnessed the shooting was being interviewed at the scene when police became suspicious and searched her. In her pockets they found 18 capsules of suspected cocaine and in a shirt sleeve they found a cloth packet containing more capsules.

The woman was arrested and was to be charged with possession of cocaine.

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