Answers elusive in fatal standoff Carroll shooting, cause of fire probed

February 20, 1997|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

State police and fire investigators were reviewing physical evidence yesterday -- seeking answers to a standoff that resulted in the fatal shooting Tuesday morning of a Woodbine man.

Daniel E. James, 33, was shot by state troopers about 9 1/2 hours after four teen-agers reported seeing an armed man walking around a blazing fire at his parents' home in the 6500 block of Day View Drive.

State police and fire marshals are investigating the shooting and the cause of the fire, and an internal-affairs review of troopers' actions is under way.

Police and neighbors said yesterday there was no indication that James had said or done anything to explain his actions.

Deputy State Fire Marshal W. Faron Taylor said that finding what caused the fire might shed light on the incident.

"Once we make a determination of the official cause of the fire -- that is what precipitated the entire incident, so that perhaps could bring some closure to it," he said.

Fire marshals were at the scene during the standoff, he said, but weren't able to begin sifting through rubble until Tuesday afternoon -- in deference to the police investigation of the shooting.

Fire marshals also were hampered Tuesday by continued smoldering of the rubble. Only a brick chimney and the masonry foundation remained.

Taylor said the cause of the fire probably won't be known before today, if ever, because "with that type of destruction and the delay in initiating that phase of the investigation, it is only going to make the cause determination more difficult."

Taylor and Shipley emphasized that their investigators have no proof that James set his parents' house on fire.

Pub Date: 2/20/97

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