Clerk killed, security guard wounded at Giant supermarket Suspect found in closet 12 hours later is arrested

November 20, 1996|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Brenda J. Buote contributed to this article.

A clerk was killed and a security guard wounded at a Northeast Baltimore Giant Food store early yesterday as the guard tried to apprehend an ex-convict on probation who was suspected of shoplifting toothbrushes, police said.

Twelve hours after the shooting, police arrested Charles Anthony Thomas, 28, who was released from prison in March after a drug conviction, according to corrections officials.

A U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force said it found Thomas armed with a handgun and hiding in a closet in a house in the 1400 block of Edison Highway in East Baltimore. He will be charged with first-degree murder and handgun violations in yesterday's shooting, police said.

A stock clerk, Steve B. Bowers, 44, of Hampden died in surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center shortly after he was shot in the stomach at 3: 45 a.m. at the Giant in Parkside Shopping Center in the 5100 block of Sinclair Lane.

Bowers was married and had two daughters. His niece said he had asked Giant for a transfer because he believed the area to be dangerous.

The guard, Terrence Callahan, 40, was in fair condition at Bayview after surgery.

Thomas was released from prison in March after serving nearly four years for possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, according to the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

City police said they received a call at 3: 45 a.m. from the all-night Giant to assist Callahan as he apprehended a shoplifter. By the time Officer Patricia Davis arrived, the man had seized Callahan's gun and shot Bowers and Callahan, police said. Two shots were fired at Davis, but she was unharmed, according to police.

Arriving officers wheeled out the two wounded men and evacuated store employees and the few shoppers.

The suspect apparently fled through the front door before backup officers arrived and searched the store.

A police spokeswoman, Agent Ragina L. Cooper, said Thomas suffered a self-inflicted wound and was taken to a hospital for treatment. No details were available.

Pub Date: 11/20/96

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