Officers fatally shoot woman who had knife in Homeland Neighbors told police she put explosives in yards

January 13, 1996|By John Rivera | John Rivera,SUN STAFF

A 62-year-old woman who police said came at four Baltimore police officers wielding a kitchen knife was shot fatally last night in her Homeland home, police said.

Police went to the woman's house in the 300 block of Taplow Road last night about 5:30 p.m. after receiving complaints from neighbors that she was placing Molotov cocktails in their yards, said Agent Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a police spokesman.

She also had been seen carrying a sickle, residents told police.

After speaking with neighbors, officers knocked at the woman's door, but received no response.

The officers left briefly to obtain an emergency petition to have the woman undergo a psychiatric examination, but -- determining that time was of the essence -- returned to the house about 6:45 p.m. without the petition, police said.

"They detected an odor emanating from the household which they believed to be a flammable liquid of some type," Agent Weinhold said. "They had reason to believe the woman posed a danger to herself, as well as to the residents in the community."

Four officers climbed in through a living room window, but could not find the woman, he said.

As the officers stood in the living room, the woman walked down the stairs toward them with the knife, Agent Weinhold said.

The officers ordered her to drop the knife, but when she did not, the officers sprayed her with tear gas, he said. They ordered her to drop the knife again, and when she did not, they sprayed her a second time.

"Believing that their lives were in imminent danger, two of the officers withdrew their service weapons. Both fired at least one shot, striking the woman in the torso," Agent Weinhold said.

The woman, whose name was not released pending the notification of her relatives, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers found a container of gasoline in the house, Agent Weinhold said.

The officers were identified as Manuel Eldridge Jr. 26, who has been with the department three years, and Scott Dickson, 24, who has two years of service. Both officers are assigned to Northern District patrol and will be placed on administrative duty during the investigation of the shooting.

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