Slain suspect is tied to holdups Police link him to armed robberies of two ATM customers

December 09, 1997|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

The 43-year-old gas station robbery suspect shot to death Saturday by Anne Arundel police officers has been linked to armed holdups of two people at automated teller machines in the county last month, county police said yesterday.

Kevin P. Ferguson, a convicted thief who lived in the 4200 block of Wentworth Road in Baltimore, was shot just after 6 a.m. Saturday after he attempted to speed through a police roadblock in a stolen Mercedes in Glen Burnie and hit the back of a police car.

Seven of about 25 police officers who were at the scene remained on administrative duty yesterday as authorities continued investigating the events leading to Ferguson's death.

Police said Ferguson had robbed a Shell station on Richie Highway at McKinsey Road and was pursued by officers into a dead-end road after being seen driving a car matching the description of the robber's vehicle north on Ritchie Highway minutes later.

Officer Carol Frye, a county police spokeswoman, said Ferguson was believed responsible for two armed robberies committed the night of Nov. 21.

In the first, Douglas J. Norton of Pasadena was withdrawing cash at about 7: 30 p.m. from a First National Bank ATM on Elkridge Landing Road in Linthicum when a man approached him, pulled out a small, silver-colored handgun and demanded the money.

Frye said the man ordered Norton to withdraw more money, and when that was unsuccessful, he took money from the man's wallet. The man drove off in a black Mercedes after throwing Norton's car keys toward the bank's drive-through area and telling Norton to go get them.

About 8: 50 p.m., David Wayne Burton of Glen Burnie was at a NationsBank ATM in Southdale Shopping Center at Mountain Road and Route 100 when a man approached and pulled out a small, silver-colored handgun, Frye said.

She said the man went through the same routine -- but this time his victim was successful in withdrawing additional money. Burton told police that the car had Virginia license plate UBI 930.

Police said the car had been reported stolen in Fairfax County, Va., but a police spokesman was unable last night to say when it was taken.

Frye said Ferguson was linked to the robberies through the victims' description of the car -- the same vehicle police say he used in Saturday's robbery.

"When you have an armed robbery, not all the time does someone give you a description of the car," she said. "In fact, it's pretty rare."

In Saturday's incident, police said an armed robbery was reported at 5: 54 a.m. at the Shell station in the 500 block of Ritchie Highway, where a man took an undisclosed amount of money and drove away in a black Mercedes with Virginia license plates.

Officers spotted the vehicle heading north on Ritchie Highway near Route 10, and when they pulled behind the car, the driver -- tTC Ferguson -- sped north on Route 10 to Ordnance Road.

When Ferguson turned into Baymeadow Drive, a dead-end road leading into an industrial park, police tried to block it. Ferguson made a quick U-turn, and police said he tried to run down the officers before they began shooting at him.

Ferguson managed to get past the officers to Ordnance Road, where the Mercedes hit a cruiser occupied by an officer who was not hurt, police said.

The Mercedes veered onto a concrete median on Ordnance Road, where it became stuck. Ferguson abandoned the car and fled across Ordnance Road, collapsing on a grassy slope below the Price Club Plaza parking lot. He was declared dead at the scene.

The Police Department would not divulge yesterday how many shots had been fired, how many officers had fired their weapons, and how many times Ferguson was struck. But Frye said the officers had reason to believe Ferguson posed a threat to their lives.

"Even if it was with his vehicle, [Ferguson] tried to run over several officers and rammed a police car," she said. "So he was trying to do bodily harm to the officers. And when we got the call, it was reported as an armed robbery. The officers felt at that point that he was armed that there was enough threat to do this."

Ferguson was found to have a starter's pistol in his jacket pocket, which Frye said is "not something that you can hurt someone with. It doesn't fire bullets."

Reassigned to administrative tasks -- a routine step during investigations of police-involved shootings -- were Officers Leroy Coking and Dirk Rinehart, both of the Northern District; and Officers Andrew Albach, Steven Cooper, Thomas Tyzack and Ervin Lemaster, and Sgt. Allen Muir, all of the Eastern District.

Frye said she did not know how long the shooting investigation would take, but she noted that police also are continuing efforts to determine whether Ferguson was involved in other unsolved robberies in the county.

Court records show that Ferguson had been charged numerous times with forgery, and convicted twice of felony theft -- most recently in 1993, when he was given a three-year prison term.

Pub Date: 12/09/97

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