Man, 61, dies in shootout with police

April 16, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

Two officers who shot and killed a 61-year-old city man late Thursday apparently fired in self-defense as the man "was blazing away at them with a shotgun," a police spokesman said yesterday.

Killed in the 8:55 p.m. incident was Seward Hammett of the 2200 block of Garrison Blvd., who suffered a gunshot wound to the neck in the exchange of gunfire with the officers outside Mr. Hammett's house, said Agent Doug Price, the spokesman.

"The officers were diving for cover . . . and he was firing at them," Agent Price said. "Based on the facts, information and evidence, we believe the officers acted in accordance of the law and rules and regulations of the Police Department."

Northwestern District officers Shaun P. Garrity, 26, a 3 1/2 -year veteran, and David W. Mills, 34, a 14-year veteran, have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation. The action is routine in shootings involving police.

Police said the officers went to Mr. Hammett's home to investigate a report that he was firing a shotgun from a second-floor window. When they arrived with two other officers, they approached the front door of the house and spotted Mr. Hammett inside, walking down a stairway with the shotgun, police said.

The officers yelled for him to drop the weapon, but he refused, Agent Price said. As the officers were taking cover, Mr. Hammett walked out the front door and fired a blast from the shotgun at them, Agent Price said.

Officers Garrity and Mills both fired at Mr. Hammett, prompting him to fire two more shotgun blasts at them, Agent Price said.

One of the eight bullets fired from the officers hit Mr. Hammett in the neck and he staggered backward and fell inside the house, police said.

He was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he died at 10:55 p.m., police said.

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