Armed man shot eight times by county police

had recent standoffs with officers

November 08, 2011

Howard County police officers shot an armed man eight times after he refused to drop the handgun he was carrying Monday, Nov. 7 in Hanover, police said.

The man, identified as Jeffrey Dustin Nichols, 19, of the 6600 block of Grouse Road in Elkridge, was taken by ambulance to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He was listed in critical condition as of late Tuesday afternoon, according to police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.

Police had been called to Nichols' home on Sept. 11 and Oct. 7, and in both incidents Nichols injured himself with a knife, Llewellyn said. In the Oct. 7 incident, Nichols refused to drop a knife and told officers he wanted them to shoot him, Llewellyn said.

On Monday, police were called at about 3 p.m. for a report of a man who had fired a gun. Officers found a man with a gun walking near Loudon and Melrose avenues, Llewellyn said. He ignored police orders to drop the weapon and continue to walk along railroad tracks, leading to a rear parking lot of a warehouse at an industrial park in the 7400 block of Hi Tech Drive, Llewellyn said.

Officers followed the man and again ordered him to drop the weapon, but he did not, Llewellyn said. The man was then shot by police in his torso and extremities, Llewellyn said.

Police say Nichols' gun was a pellet gun designed to look like a real, semi-automatic handgun, she said.

Six Howard County officers were confirmed as firing their weapons: Ofc. Bryce Buell, a 10-year officer; Sgt. Jayson Janowich, a 12-year-officer; Ofc. Brian Klakring, a 5-year officer; Ofc. Joshua Mouton, a 4-year officer; Ofc. Ryan Saulsbury, a 10-year officer; and Ofc. James Zammillo, a 7-year officer.

Ofc. Ronald Mabe, a 13-year officer, was involved in trying to apprehend Nichols but did not fire his weapon, Llewellyn said.

All seven have been put on paid administrative leave, which is department procedure after a police-involved shooting, she said.

A month before Monday's shooting, Nichols had been taken into police custody after a standoff at his home. Nichols had called 911 on Oct. 7 and said he needed assistance, but when officers arrived they found him outside with a knife, Llewellyn said.

Nichols told officers that he wanted them to shoot him, imploring them to "just do it" and "make it quick," Llewellyn said, citing a police report. After refusing to drop the knife, Nichols stabbed and cut himself until police stopped him and brought him to the hospital, Llewellyn said.

On Sept. 11, police were called to Nichols' home for a report of a man cutting his arms with a knife. Nichols was bleeding and was taken to the hospital, Llewellyn said.

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