Trooper fatally shoots Harford man amid fight

December 02, 2008|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,liz.kay@baltsun.com

A Maryland State Police trooper fatally shot a Harford County man who broke into a relative's home, made threats about having a weapon and fought with officers early yesterday, a state police spokesman said.

The man, John M. Abbate, 52, of the 100 block of Fidelity Drive in Fallston was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release.

Shortly after 4:30 a.m., two Harford County sheriff's deputies and a state trooper responded to a 911 call from a home on the 2700 block of Lakeland Drive in Fallston, the spokesman, Greg Shipley, said.

The homeowner said that his sister's husband, who was having domestic problems, had broken into his home, Shipley said.

Abbate had said he had a gun in his car and had threatened to kill the homeowner's wife, Shipley said.

When police arrived, Abbate refused to comply with orders to remove his hand from his pocket and instead lunged at the officers, the spokesman said.

They used a Taser and a baton to try to subdue the man, who was 6 feet tall and weighed 300 pounds, but those methods had no effect, Shipley said. He pulled the Taser prongs out of his body and also threw the trooper into a computer table, he said.

The man was choking one of the deputies when the trooper shot him, Shipley said.

The trooper, Tfc. Sean Harris, 27, was treated for arm and leg injuries. He was placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated, which is standard procedure.

No one answered calls to the home yesterday.

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