Authorities apprehend suspect in shooting

Four-hour standoff follows shots fired at city officers


July 31, 2002|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

A man who allegedly shot at two undercover Annapolis police officers yesterday afternoon was arrested after a four-hour standoff with police in the city's Newtowne 20 public housing development.

Police said 27-year-old Demarrow Antjuan Williams approached undercover narcotics agents who were sitting in an unmarked police car on a dirt road behind Betsy Court about 1 p.m. and fired about five shots.

Neither the officers nor their vehicle was struck.

After the suspect fled into an apartment in the 800 block of Betsy Court, police evacuated nearby residents, set up a barricade and called in the Annapolis Special Emergency Team, said Officer Hal Dalton, a police spokesman.

The standoff lasted until about 4:40 p.m. when Williams, who had been alone in the apartment, emerged unarmed and was taken into custody.

"I'm glad everything ended the way it did," said Alderman George O. Kelley, a former police officer, who waited in the neighborhood with residents during the standoff. "They brought him out alive."

Charges had not been filed as of yesterday evening, and no weapon had been recovered. Dalton said Williams, of the 1300 block of Tyler Ave., would likely be charged with assault with attempt to murder and other offenses.

In the hours before the peaceful resolution, dozens of Newtowne 20 residents were forbidden to return to their homes. The residents complained that police and paramedics on the scene did not provide water to drink.

Several observers, including Williams' friends and relatives, were worried that the man, who they said suffers from schizophrenia and has had several recent run-ins with police, would be killed.

Williams' sister, Lakeysha Henderson, and his aunt, Deborah Smith, said they were upset that police did not allow a family member to try to talk Williams out of the home.

"He's not going to talk to anyone he don't trust," Henderson said.

About 2 p.m., police isolated the telephone line to the apartment Williams had entered so that only negotiators could call him.

Dalton said that police, who had turned off electricity to the apartment, made several attempts to call but that Williams did not answer.

Police then called in negotiators from Anne Arundel County's Mobile Crisis Team to assist them.

About 4:35 p.m. two police officers approached the first-floor apartment, tapped on the window and motioned for Williams to pick up the phone.

He picked it up, talked to someone from the crisis team and soon emerged. A few minutes later, residents were allowed to return home.

About two dozen Annapolis police officers and six to eight paramedics were on the scene yesterday, Dalton said.

Yesterday's incident came less than two weeks after a Baltimore police officer was shot and wounded while working undercover on a drug investigation.

Criminal record

According to computerized court records, Williams was recently charged with felony theft, taking a car and a traffic violation.

He has an Aug. 26 trial date on charges of assault and trespassing.

District Court records indicate that he has had several brushes with police in the past.

In 2000, he was placed on probation until February 2003 and ordered to receive anger-management counseling after he pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property.

In 1994, a District Court judge sentenced him to 40 hours of community service and probation after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit robbery with a deadly weapon.

He was later accused of violating probation. In 1996, his probation was revoked and he was sentenced to 30 days in jail. It is unclear whether he served that jail time.

Sun staff writer Andrea F. Siegel contributed to this article.

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