2 sought in Metro robbery

3rd suspect killed

November 13, 2006|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,sun reporter

Police were looking yesterday for two men who fled after a gunpoint robbery Saturday night at the Reisterstown Road Plaza Metro station that resulted in the fatal shooting of a suspect by an undercover Maryland Transit Administration officer.

The robbery about 7 p.m. of a man who had gotten off the subway was the latest of several at the station in the 4700 block of Patterson Ave. that had prompted the MTA police to assign a seven-member team of plainclothes officers there.

The victim Saturday night was robbed of his bus pass but was unharmed. Two of the bandits fled in the direction of the shopping center, while the third ran toward the CSX railroad tracks near the city-Baltimore County line - followed by the undercover officer, MTA police Capt. David Marzola said yesterday.

When the officer caught up to the suspect and identified himself, the man pointed a pistol at the officer. When he did not comply with a command to drop the weapon, the officer shot him, Marzola said.

The man was pronounced dead at 7:31 p.m. at Sinai Hospital. Police said yesterday he was 23 years old, but his name was not released.

MTA police recovered a small-caliber semiautomatic handgun, Chief John Gavrilis, said yesterday. He said the dead man had an extensive criminal record.

MTA police and city police homicide detectives, are investigating what Marzola said was the second fatal shooting involving an MTA officer in 23 years. The two-year member of the force, whose name was not released, has been placed on administrative leave.

Marzola said the MTA assigned the police team to the station in Northwest Baltimore this weekend in response to reports of three robberies in the past two weeks. He said the suspect who was shot fits the description of a man believed to have been involved in the other robberies.

"We will probably still be conducting operations out there at other stations, but we think we have caught the suspects here," he said.

The shooting and the increase in robberies come on the heels of a fatal stabbing last week at the North Avenue light rail station.

Nicole Edmonds, 17, was walking from the station on West North Avenue with her younger brother when they were attacked by three men and a woman. The teenagers were returning home from their jobs at a Linthicum Wendy's and were wearing their restaurant uniforms.

Marzola said the transit system is safe, but he encouraged users to walk in lighted areas and to try not to walk alone.

rona.kobell@baltsun.com

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