Man Pleads Guilty In Shooting Of Officer

July 29, 2009|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,brent.jones@baltsun.com

A 23-year-old city man pleaded guilty Monday in Baltimore Circuit Court to attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of an Anne Arundel County officer during a running shootout with police last year.

Matthew Gonzalez of the 3600 block of St. Victor St. faces a maximum sentence of life in prison plus 20 years for using a handgun in commission of a crime, according to the city state's attorney's office. His sentencing is scheduled Sept. 3.

On July 15, 2008, Gonzalez shot Officer Lee Joines in the stomach, hitting his bullet-resistant vest, and fired several other shots at police before surrendering in an alley in the city's Brooklyn neighborhood. Joines, a five-year veteran, escaped serious injury when the bullet lodged in his vest. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was treated and released later that day.

The chase began after Anne Arundel and Baltimore police responded to an automobile break-in call in the 4100 block of Audrey Ave., an area bordering the city-county line. As officers held six men on a curbside for questioning, Gonzalez jumped up and ran east on Audrey Avenue, the city state's attorney's office said.

Joines chased Gonzalez and struck him in the back with a stun device, causing Gonzalez to fall. Prosecutors said he also dropped a handgun.

Fearing for his safety, Joines dropped the Taser to reach for his gun. Gonzalez then grabbed his handgun and fired, striking Joines' gun through his holster. The officer was able to fire one shot at Gonzalez before his gun jammed because of the lodged bullet, according to the city state's attorney's office. Gonzalez was not struck.

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