Harford chase ends in fatal shooting Convicted killer was target of unsuccessful 3-day manhunt last month

November 28, 1998|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

A convicted killer who eluded Harford County sheriff's deputies for weeks was fatally shot yesterday by two officers investigating a robbery.

Richard Vito Genna, 35, of no known address died after leading police on a foot chase that ended at the intersection of Gateshead Drive and Gateshead Court in Edgewood, police said. Genna -- who was being sought on warrants for nonsupport, violation of probation and failure to appear in court -- had been the subject of a three-day manhunt in Joppatowne last month after he fled police and vowed to "shoot a cop first" if officers tried to arrest him.

In 1983, Genna was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to seven years in prison for shooting his brother.

Sgt. Edward Hopkins, spokesman for the Harford County sheriff's office, said deputies were called to a robbery at a Royal Farm Store in the 600 block of Edgewood Road. Kevin Harris, 32, a clerk at the store, told police that a gunman entered shortly after 2 a.m., demanded money and fled in a car that a customer had left running.

Hopkins said that officers received information that led them to a home in the 400 block of Gateshead Drive.

"Deputies recognized the address as the same one that had been searched weeks ago for Mr. Genna," Hopkins said. "The occupants of the home refused the deputies entry."

A man who lived in the home, Gregory Anthony Cole, 32, was arrested and charged with robbery, theft and use of a handgun in commission of a felony in connection with the holdup. Cole was being held last night pending a bail review hearing.

At about 5: 20 a.m., Genna ran from the house and was chased by deputies stationed outside. Hopkins said Genna was shot after he turned and fired at the two officers.

"Two small-caliber handguns were found at the scene," Hopkins said. "He had one gun in his hand and his hand on the other gun."

The officers involved in the shooting, Deputies Donald Hopps and Donald Gividen, have been on patrol for five months, Hopkins said. They were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation of the shooting, which was the third time in 15 years that someone has been shot and killed by sheriff's deputies.

Pub Date: 11/28/98

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