Fugitive kills self on city roof

November 09, 1994|By Peter Hermann and Gary Gately | Peter Hermann and Gary Gately,Sun Staff Writers Sun staff writers Michael James and Peter Jensen contributed to this report.

With police closing in, a man suspected of shooting a police officer moments earlier climbed to a West Baltimore rooftop yesterday afternoon and fatally shot himself in the head, authorities said.

Scores of officers converged on the 2800 block of W. Mulberry St., where the man broke down a door to a rowhouse, burst past a woman and two children, broke through a skylight and climbed to the roof. As a police helicopter hovered overhead, the suspect, who was being sought in connection with a near-fatal shooting Sunday, bolted across several rowhouses.

"He's wearing a black T-shirt with the words 'Getting Strong' on it," a frantic officer barked across the police radio. "He's going eastbound on the roof. He's going eastbound on the roof. . . . He's reaching down into his pants, he's got a gun!"

Moments later, the helicopter officer yelled, "He just shot himself on the roof! He's laying on the roof. He shot himself in the head. He's not moving."

Meanwhile, Southwestern District Officer Wayne A. Bolt, 24, who was shot once in the right ankle, was being tended by Alan Garrett, a bystander. Mr. Garrett said he took off the officer's shoes and dressed the wound with a sock.

The officer, who has been on the force 17 months, was taken by ambulance to Bon Secours Hospital, where he was in stable condition yesterday evening.

The drama on West Mulberry Street was heightened by initial reports that Officer Bolt had been shot in the face.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who visited the officer yesterday evening along with several members of the command staff, said doctors were preparing to operate to remove the bullet.

"He looked to be in very good spirits," the mayor said. "He just said he really tried his best. I asked him how he felt. He said he felt really good."

The suspect, identified as Antonio Jay Lucky, 22, of the 600 block of Linnard Ave., who had been wanted on a charge of attempted murder in connection with a shooting Sunday in the 5000 block of Dickey Hill Road, was taken to the St. Agnes Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m.

Residents poured out of their houses to watch the commotion as police blocked off several streets with yellow tape. Traffic on Franklin Street, a major route into the city, slowed to a crawl.

Bystanders who sat on the median barrier in the middle of Franklin Street and on a nearby embankment had a clear view of the back of the rowhouses and the roofs, where Mr. Lucky had stopped. At that point, the suspect put a 9 mm handgun to the right side of his head and fired one shot, falling face down on the tar roof.

Minnie Leverette, 75, who lives near where the shooting occurred and is the mother of a city police sergeant, said her neighborhood -- to which she moved 53 years ago -- has changed for the worse. "I don't walk around here anymore," said Ms. Leverette. "I'm afraid. It's so different from what I remember."

Of the wounded officer, Ms. Leverette said, "I think about him and I worry about him, but not only about him, but all the policemen. And not only them, but all the mothers and all the children on these streets. This is going on right here in front of you and it frightens you to death."

Donald Actie, who owns Skylines Communications, a store that sells electronic pagers on the corner of Franklin Street and North Franklintown Road, said the officer had stopped in the store to pay his $9.99 pager bill just as the suspect was buying a $65 pager for his girlfriend. He said the officer, who patrols the neighborhood and stops in often, paid his bill and left but then returned a few minutes later.

"He told the guy, 'Come here, let me talk to you,' " Mr. Actie said. The two went outside, and the store owner said he heard several shots moments later. "I went outside and the officer was holding his left leg and the guy was running down the street."

Police released few details of the incident yesterday, as a squad of homicide detectives scoured streets and debris-strewn alleys and yards, picking up shell casings and seeking witnesses.

Officer Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a police spokesman, said the officer had been on routine patrol near the corner of Franklin Street and Franklintown Road when he saw the suspect, who he knew was wanted in Sunday's shooting, in which a man was shot in the groin.

During the initial incident, the police spokesman said, Officer Bolt returned fire -- witnesses said they heard at least five shots -- but the suspect apparently was not hit.

Mr. Garrett said he was standing just outside of Pete's Place, a bar and

liquor store across the street from the shooting, and ran to help the injured officer. "He was just telling everybody who had just shot him," Mr. Garrett said. "He said he was just a little too slow. The guy pulled out his gun and shot him before he could do anything."

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