Details emerge in police shooting

Officers recovered guns from car leaving SW Baltimore party

July 07, 2008|By Gus Sentementes and Brent Jones | Gus Sentementes and Brent Jones,Sun reporters

A moving car containing three men fired upon Baltimore police before officers shot back, killing two of them outside a rowdy Fourth of July party, authorities disclosed yesterday as new details of Saturday's shooting emerged.

City police officers, who were in uniform and in a marked cruiser, arrived at a Southwest Baltimore union hall about 1:30 a.m. as people were leaving and someone reported gunshots. As the three men drove away, someone inside the car fired at police officers, causing the officers to return fire, according to Sterling Clifford, a police spokesman.

After the men inside the car were shot, the vehicle crashed into another parked car.

Clifford said officers recovered handguns from the car containing the suspects, and also discovered a gun in the car that was struck.

Paul M. Blair Jr., president of the city's police union, defended the officers' actions, saying they had the right to defend themselves.

"You carry guns ... nowadays on the street, and you start shooting at police, then the police are going to return fire," Blair said.

Police say they believe the three men are related.

The man who survived was identified as Darryl A. White Jr. of the 1100 block of Wedgewood Road in police charging documents. White, 22, was shot in the hand by police. He was charged with several handgun violations and possession of marijuana, according to electronic court records.

White is being held at the Central Booking and Intake Center on $175,000 bail, according to electronic court records.

The men who died were identified as 21-year-old Raemond Paul White, who was shot in the chest, and 18-year-old Haywood Theodore White Jr., who was shot in the head, according to charging documents.

Darryl White apparently lived, at least sometimes, with his grandmother Cynthia White in West Baltimore's Greater West Hills neighborhood. She refused to comment to a reporter yesterday. Before the shootout with police, the men were asked by private security to leave a party at the Maryland Chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 67 headquarters in the 1400 block of Bush St., police said. The party was unaffiliated with the union.

Once outside, the men began shooting guns into the air, and uniformed police soon approached, charging documents say.

The three men got into a white Ford Taurus and began shooting from the car toward the officers as the Taurus was leaving, according to charging documents. Two officers returned fire.

Police are not releasing the names of the officers, who have been placed on routine administrative duty pending an investigation.

The incident capped off one of the more violent Fourth of July nights in recent history, with police responding to five other shootings in the city, although none of them was fatal.

Neighbors living a block away from the union hall were awakened by the gunshots and sirens.

Although the union hall, a squat two-story brick building, sits in an industrial area with little residential housing, people live in several rowhouses one block up.

Some said yesterday that they had heard a commotion - lights and noise - about 2 a.m. One man, Charles Cochrane, said that police cars, ambulances and fire engines filled two blocks. The authorities didn't leave until 4:30 or 5 a.m., he said.

Cochrane said the car that held the men who had been shot ended up in the middle of Hamburg Avenue, across from the Union Hall.

Sun reporter David Kohn contributed to this article.

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