Balto. Co. police kill woman in standoff

SWAT team enters Rodgers Forge house after nearly 12 hours

September 07, 1999|By Amy Oakes and Jamie Stiehm | Amy Oakes and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police shot and killed a 40-year-old Rodgers Forge woman in a bedroom of her house yesterday after she threatened officers with a rifle during a 12-hour standoff, police said.

The shooting occurred at 4: 30 p.m.

Police declined to say what prompted them to shoot the mother of two, identified as Tambra Eddinger. A preliminary investigation indicates that she was shot three times, twice in the chest and once in the shoulder, said Cpl. Douglas Irwin, on duty last night in the department's communications unit.

"[Eddinger] was yelling, `Don't come in here, I'll kill you,' " said police spokeswoman Vickie Warehime.

Eddinger died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center about 5: 30 p.m. A shock trauma spokeswoman declined to give details of her wounds.

The standoff at 330 Dumbarton Road began at 4: 45 a.m. yesterday, when Eddinger's husband called police to report that he had fled an argument with his wife and that she was armed. Police surrounded the house and attempted to persuade Eddinger to come out. They shouted to her through a bullhorn and called her telephone number, but the woman would not come out. Her children were apparently not in the house during the standoff.

A command post was set up at Dumbarton Middle School alongside the house. There, Eddinger's 47-year-old husband, Irvin, worked with police to end the standoff.

"She appeared very intoxicated," Warehime said. "As time went on, she got progressively worse."

Irwin said that an hour before the shooting, Eddinger appeared on the tiny front porch of the house carrying what police believe was a .22-caliber rifle.

"That dramatically changes the scope of things, when a person appears with a lethal weapon," Irwin said.

At 4 p.m., police fired tear gas into the front and back of the house and nine SWAT officers stormed the building. They climbed the stairs and fired gas into a second-floor bedroom with Eddinger inside. More than one officer, police said, entered the room.

Eddinger opened a window and stuck her head out to escape the gas, officers said. She was shot moments after pulling her head inside, police said.

Police declined to provide details about the circumstances of the shooting.

"We went through excruciating steps to have her surrender without incident," Warehime said.

Eddinger's next-door neighbor said she heard several "explosions" after the police went inside but did not know whether they were gunshots.

The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she heard officers shouting: " `Tambra, come on out. [This is the] Baltimore County police. We're here to help you.' " Shortly afterward, Eddinger was shot..

The Eddingers apparently had a tumultuous marriage, according to court records and those who lived near them. On Friday, Tambra Eddinger was accused of attacking her husband and charged with second-degree assault. The trial on the charges was scheduled for Nov. 22 in Baltimore County District Court.

Neighbors said police were called to the Dumbarton Road house twice this summer to handle domestic problems between the Eddingers. Police declined to confirm that.

Neighbors said Eddinger was a hairdresser and had recently moved from Virginia to marry Irvin Eddinger, who is self-employed.

As neighbors watched the scene unfold from behind police lines, one woman who knew Eddinger said the situation was heartbreaking.

"I felt helpless to save her," said Lisa Hurka Covington, a suicide prevention counselor.

Pub Date: 9/07/99

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