Fugitive wounded in police shootout

Man critically injured after opening fire on officers, authorities say

October 16, 2001|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Four Baltimore police officers shot a fugitive yesterday afternoon in West Baltimore after the man opened fire on them with a handgun, city police said.

Wounded several times and listed in critical condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center was Edward Bland, 31. Wanted on attempted murder charges stemming from a 1996 shooting, Bland was the subject of a stakeout by undercover detectives in the 3400 block of W. North Ave., police said.

But Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris said the department "really wanted this guy" for alleged connections to a recent spate of violence in the city's Northwestern and Southwestern districts.

Police got a tip that Bland was staying with his girlfriend in the 3400 block of W. North Ave. and began the stakeout of the neighborhood Sunday, Norris said.

About 3 p.m. yesterday, Bland walked out of the girlfriend's house, and a plainclothes detective approached him, identified himself as an officer and ordered Bland to stop, Norris said.

According to police, Bland opened fire on the officer with a 9 mm handgun. That officer and three others returned fire, hitting Bland several times, police said, adding that no one else was injured.

Two men who were with Bland during the shooting were being questioned last night, police said. One of the men was discovered hiding in a van at the shooting scene several hours after the incident, police said.

Bland was also wanted on a warrant from Baltimore County accusing him of using a pit bull dog to assault another man in August, police said.

The four officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duties. They were identified last night as: Sgt. Earl Williams, 33, and Detective Sean Ruane, 29, both on the force since 1993; Detective Steven Staab, 29, on the force since 1997; and Detective Michael Coleman, 35, who joined the department in 1994.

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