Probe of police shooting nearly finished

Officer believed victim was armed with gun, lawyer says

October 10, 2001|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

A criminal investigation of a Howard County police officer who fatally shot a North Laurel man outside his parents' Guilford Road home in Columbia last month is nearing completion, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said yesterday.

Pfc. Timothy Wiley, a seven-year veteran of the force, repeatedly ordered Harold Clifton Schwartz, 43, to show his hands, and Wiley shot him once in the upper body, police have said.

An initial police dispatch about Schwartz on Sept. 10 advised police officers that he was armed with a handgun. But that information was amended to report that the person who called in the complaint of Schwartz attempting to break into his parents' home was the one with the handgun, Llewellyn said last month.

Although police did not find a handgun in the wooded area where Schwartz was shot, they did turn up a razor blade, which police believe Schwartz might have used to inflict cuts on his throat.

Tim McCrone, Wiley's lawyer, has said his client believed that Schwartz was armed with a handgun.

The results of the criminal investigation will be forwarded to the Howard County state's attorney's office for review. After the criminal investigation ends, a routine internal investigation of Wiley's actions will begin, Llewellyn said.

McCrone said yesterday that he was confident the state's attorney's office would review the criminal case "in the very near future." He added that he was certain Wiley had acted within the parameters of the law when he used deadly force.

Wiley has been assigned to administrative duties during the investigation, Llewellyn said.

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