Man shot dead by police after rowhouse attack

August 05, 1994|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Sun Staff Writer

A 32-year-old man who police said had assaulted a woman and fired gunshots in an East Baltimore rowhouse died yesterday morning in return gunfire from two city patrol officers, authorities said.

Killed in the incident in the 2400 block of E. Preston St. was Christopher Johnson, who was shot in the torso, groin and thigh, police said.

Eastern District Officers Richard Waybright and Guy Gerstel, who fired at Mr. Johnson, were assigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident, police said.

Officer Sabrina Tapp-Harper, a city police spokeswoman, said the patrol officers arrived in the neighborhood shortly before 1 a.m. and were directed to a Preston Street rowhouse by a man who said a woman was being assaulted inside by a man who had a pistol.

While Officer Waybright took up a position in front of the house, Officer Gerstel approached from the back yard and stood near the opened rear kitchen door.

Moments later, said Officer Tapp-Harper, the man inside the house fired at least two shots.

Both officers returned fire, with Officer Waybright firing at least eight rounds from his 9 mm Glock semiautomatic handgun, and Officer Gerstel firing an unknown number of rounds from his .38-caliber revolver, police said.

Mr. Johnson, of the 1200 block of N. Decker St., was declared dead at the scene about 1 a.m.

Police said they retrieved a gun near the dead man's hand and found two others near the body. It was not immediately known what kind of gun the man fired, but all three were taken to the crime lab.

Also taken to the crime lab were sections of a stairway banister and a wall, the places where Officer Tapp-Harper said the bullets fired by the officers hit.

She said that the woman, who had facial injuries, was questioned by detectives about the incident.

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