Teen kills self with shotgun

June 09, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

A 17-year-old shot himself to death in the Westminster house of a relative yesterday, apparently immediately after he called 911 and told a police communications officer he had a shotgun and intended to kill himself.

Police rushed to the house and surrounded it, not knowing that the youth, whom they did not identify, had already carried out his threat.

Keeping out of sight, police for more than seven hours telephoned the house, pleaded with the youth to come out and watched for some sign of life.

Relatives told authorities that the brick-front, two-story house in the 900 block of Old New Windsor Pike, which belongs to the teen's aunt and uncle, contained a considerable number of firearms.

Police, worried that the youth might fire from the house, diverted traffic from nearby roads.

The drama began about 1:45 p.m., when a boy called 911 and said he had a shotgun and planned to kill himself.

Communications officials traced the call, and police were dispatched. They hung back from the house, where they could see curtained windows and the teen-ager's gray Plymouth parked in the driveway.

The youth's parents and his girlfriend were brought to the scene and after several hours were permitted to approach the house to appeal to the youth to answer the repeated phone calls or come to a window.

When they were unable to make contact with the youth, they notified the state police Special Tactical Assault Team Element team.

The leader of the special team ordered Old New Windsor Pike closed at 3:25 p.m. and Route 31, the major highway to New Windsor and Union Bridge, closed at 3:45 p.m. Traffic was rerouted through a housing development on the opposite side of Route 31.

About 6 p.m., Maryland State Police drove the youth's girlfriend up the driveway and, using a loudspeaker, called to the boy. They received no reply.

After numerous tries, the girl was taken back to the command post.

At 7:42 p.m., the teen's father rode in a state police cruiser up the driveway and called to the youth over a loudspeaker.

"Brian, this is Dad. Come out. We have good news. Put the phone back on the hook. We love you. Brian, can you pick the phone up and give us a sign that you're OK? Your mother and I are here. . . . Pick up the phone and let us know you're OK. Please."

The police cruiser was parked in the steep driveway about 75 yards from the house.

There was no reply.

At about 8:06 p.m., the trooper sounded the siren of his cruiser several times and again called to the youth. Again, no reply.

During the interval, some of the lights in the house, controlled by automatic timers, came on.

At 9:22 p.m., members of the tactical team entered the home's front and rear doors and discovered the youth's body.

They called for the medical examiner and informed the boy's parents.

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