Suspect In Shooting Identified

Man Who Allegedly Wounded 2 Officers Has Record Of Violence

July 20, 2009|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

Police have identified a man who they say wounded two city officers in a shootout Saturday as Shawn Sinclair, a 34-year-old West Baltimore resident with a history of domestic assault accusations. Sinclair, who was also injured in the shootout, remained hospitalized Sunday but was expected to be charged with attempted murder and domestic violence-related counts, said Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

The shooting happened before noon Saturday in the 2400 block of Harlem Avenue, as police tried to arrest Sinclair on charges that he assaulted two women he knows earlier that day.

Police on Sunday also identified the wounded officers. A 17-year veteran of the force, Officer Jerome Shaurette, 44, remained in stable condition Sunday night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman. He was shot three times, once in the abdomen.

Officer Curtis McMillion, 42, who has been on the force for three years, was shot once in the buttocks and was released from the hospital Saturday night. Both officers were wearing protective vests, police said.

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III described them Saturday as "incredible heroes."

Bealefeld also called the suspect a "maniac" who had spent the day terrorizing the city.

Account of incident

On Saturday morning, the man forced himself into a home in Northeast Baltimore, where he threatened a woman with a gun and fired a shot either into the air or at the ground, Bealefeld said. Then, about 11 a.m., police received another domestic violence call, this time from a home on Harlem Avenue.

McMillion responded, and a woman there told him a man had assaulted her and fled the area. The officer used the victim's cell phone to call the suspect and persuade him to return to the scene, police said.

When a man in a red Ford Explorer pulled up and McMillion confronted him, the suspect opened fire with a 9 mm handgun, striking McMillion, police said.

The officer took cover and called for backup. Shaurette arrived, and the suspect fired through the driver's side window, hitting him in the chest, abdomen and left arm, police said. The officer crawled out through the passenger's side of the patrol car and shot the suspect twice, hitting him in the thigh and arm.

Court records show that Sinclair, whose most recent address is the 2500 block of Lauretta Avenue in West Baltimore, has a pattern of domestic violence.

In June, a 24-year-old woman whose address is not listed received a final protective order against Sinclair. Such orders typically last a year. Bealefeld said Saturday that the first woman assaulted, at a home in the 3200 block of Lake Avenue, was believed to be a former girlfriend of Sinclair's.

Another woman, who filed for divorce from Sinclair in July 2008, also had filed for protective orders against him. Her address in court records is in the 2400 block of Harlem Ave., the site of Saturday's shooting.

Twice in 2008, the woman's orders were granted but then rescinded at her request. In March 2008, Sinclair was charged criminally with assaulting his wife, but the case was dismissed when she invoked her spousal privilege and refused to testify.

It appeared from the court record that their divorce has not been finalized.

Criminal history

Apart from the assault allegations, Sinclair's criminal history shows a record of arrests and occasional convictions for crimes such as having an open container of alcohol and soliciting a ride. He was convicted twice in 2004 for drug possession, and has a half-dozen older drug convictions.

Sinclair was charged twice more than a decade ago with illegal handgun possession, but prosecutors dropped both cases.

Shaurette and McMillion were the second and third officers to be shot this year in the line of duty. In January, an officer was shot twice in the face while trying to make an undercover drug purchase in Seton Hill. Dante Arthur, an eight-year veteran of the department, required reconstructive surgeries.

Richard P. Dutton, the senior administrative physician at Shock Trauma, said the officer shot in the abdomen - Shaurette - needed hours of surgery for his wounds.

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