Baltimore Police Fatally Shoot Man Pointing A Gun

December 10, 2009|By Justin Fenton and Liz F. Kay | Justin Fenton and Liz F. Kay , justin.fenton@baltsun.com and liz.kay@baltsun.com

A man was fatally shot by Baltimore police officers early Wednesday after pointing a gun at detectives conducting a drug investigation, officials said.

Shortly after midnight, the officers saw 20-year-old Byron Ranard leave a house in the 2300 block of W. Baltimore St. that police believed to be involved in drug activity, said chief spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Ranard fled after spotting the detectives, who were assigned to the Violent Crimes Impact Division and in plain clothes but wearing new vests that say "Police" in white letters. He circled the block before pulling out a revolver, according to Guglielmi.

Ranard pointed the gun at the detectives, and the officers shot him, the spokesman said. The suspect was struck in the upper torso several times and died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Police recovered Ranard's .38-caliber handgun as well as suspected drugs, Guglielmi said.

According to police and law enforcement sources, Ranard had no prior arrests or convictions as a juvenile or as an adult.

In keeping with a policy enacted earlier this year, the department did not name the officers who fired the shots. Guglielmi said one of the officers, a sergeant, is a 13-year veteran, and the other is a detective who has been with the force for 10 years. Neither had any prior police-involved shootings, Guglielmi said.

The shooting was the second such police-involved incident in the past week. On Friday, an off-duty, two-year veteran assigned to the Northwest District shot and critically wounded a man who police say was holding up a liquor store in the 3700 block of Falls Road in Hampden.

Guglielmi on Wednesday identified the officer as Adam Braskich, saying he was releasing the officer's name because he was a "hero."

The suspect remains hospitalized; a juvenile accomplice was arrested.

City police have shot 21 people, seven fatally, in 2009. Twenty-one people were shot in all of 2008, and 13 died.

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