Police officer shoots man suspected in robberies Pair held up grocery, stole car at gunpoint in Northeast Baltimore

April 21, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A city police officer critically wounded one of two men who authorities said held up a Northeast Baltimore supermarket last night, burst into a home, stole car keys at gunpoint and led officers on a chase that ended in the quiet Ramblewood neighborhood.

Both suspects were under arrest after the events that began about 7: 10 p.m. with the holdup at the Super Pride Market in Loch Raven Shopping Center. The gunmen fled with a bag full of money.

Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a city police spokeswoman, said the suspects ran to the 5900 block of Glenkirk Road, where they confronted a couple and their three children who had just gotten into a car.

Police said one of the armed men held a gun to the mother's head and demanded the car. The family got out of the vehicle, leaving it for the robbers -- without the keys.

As the family ran back into their house on Glenkirk Road, the bandits ran to the 5900 block of Leith Walk, where they forced their way into a home and robbed an occupant of his car keys. They fled in a 1986 Mercury Cougar.

Police blocked off Loch Raven Boulevard and Belvedere Avenue, forcing the driver onto the lawn of a church where the suspects tried to run away.

In an alley off nearby Fenwick Avenue, Officer Louis Averella, 32, who has 10 years on the force, was sitting in his patrol car when he saw one of the suspects. The officer told investigators that he opened fire when the man ran toward him and appeared to

reach for a gun.

"The officer yelled out the window, 'Stop,' and the man was grabbing his waistband," Agent Cooper said. The officer repeated his demands and fired the shot as the man neared his cruiser, she said.

"He saw the man go to his waist," said Maj. Wendell M. France, commander of the homicide unit, which investigates police-involved shootings. "He knew the man was wanted in an armed holdup, and he fired once."

The wounded man collapsed in the 1600 block of Ramblewood Road, where the second suspect also was captured.

Police said the money was recovered in the alley. Weapons used in the crimes were still being sought.

Names of the suspects were not available last night.

Detectives were interviewing dozens of witnesses and victims from the crimes.

The wounded suspect was being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Police said he was shot in the abdomen.

The other suspect was being questioned and was to be charged early today, police said.

Pub Date: 4/21/96

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