Officer was involved in previous shooting

April 07, 2007|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,Sun reporter

One of two city police officers involved in a fatal shooting of a suspected armed robber at a South Baltimore strip club Thursday morning shot and killed another person in July.

A police spokesman identified the officer as Andrew W. Gotwols Jr. of the Southern District. He has been on the force for three years. The other officer involved in this week's shooting at Club Fantasies was identified as Martin Runk, a 12-year veteran, also assigned to the Southern District.

"This one is still under investigation, but it seems to be highly justified," said Matt Jablow, the department's chief spokesman.

On July 12, Gotwols shot and killed Antonio Garnett Shields, 38, of the 1100 block of Sargeant St. in the Pigtown neighborhood. Officers said they saw Shields carrying a gun and trying to go into a home. Shields refused to drop his gun, police said, and as he ran toward police, Gotwols fired. Shields was pronounced dead at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

"He's killed two armed men in nine months, but both appear to be justified," Jablow said.

The officers had worked the 4 p.m.-to-midnight shift on Thursday and were off duty at the nightclub when two armed men burst inside about 2 a.m.

The two robbers demanded money, and one fired a shotgun at the ceiling, police said, adding that Gotwols and Runk shot back with their service weapons.

Gregory Eaton, Jr., 29, of Hyattsville, was hit in the stomach, chest and head, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman. He was pronounced dead at the Pennington Avenue bar.

The other suspect was identified by Moses as Alex Reiff, 24, of Reston, Va., who was wounded in the arm and shoulder. He was wearing body armor and was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

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