Man shot after trying to grab officer's gun in Baltimore County

September 06, 2010|By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun

A man described by authorities as despondent and combative was shot twice in the chest by a Baltimore County police officer Monday morning during a scuffle for the officer's gun outside a Randallstown shopping center, according to a department spokesman.

The wounded man was rushed by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical and stable condition, police said. His name and age were not immediately available.

Lt. Robert McCullough, the county police spokesman, said an officer responded to the Kings Point Square shopping center in the 9900 block of Liberty Road, near Marriottsville Road, about 7:45 a.m. for a call for a man acting suspiciously.

The lieutenant said the man attacked the officer as soon as he had parked and tried to get out of his cruiser. McCullough said the officer tried to use his car door to prevent getting hit but the man got around it and attacked.

A backup officer quickly arrived and fired two shots from his department-issued .40 caliber Sig Sauer semi-automatic handgun into the man's chest as the man tried to grab the first officer's weapon, McCullough said. The spokesman did not yet know if the officer had his gun out or holstered. He would only say "there was a struggle for the officer's weapon."

Police said that even after being shot, the wounded man fought officers and paramedics as they loaded him into an ambulance. McCullough said the man appeared despondent but was unsure if the man and officer exchanged words before the altercation.

The stores at the shopping center were closed at the time of the shooting but employees were inside the Food Lion preparing to open. Police said there were several witnesses to the altercation and they were being interviewed by detectives. The two officers, who were not identified, are on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The shooting occurred near the main entrance to the grocery store in front of a Tae Kwon Do karate outlet. The wounded man's gray Ford Explorer was parked in the emergency lane of the shopping center. As of 10 a.m., police were still trying to confirm the man's identity.

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