Man who shot at three police officers sentenced

Former police commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III cited attack in call for tougher gun laws

January 11, 2013|By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore circuit court judge sentenced Gerry Gough to life in prison with all but 40 years suspended after he was convicted of shooting at three city police officers and wounding one of them.

Gough pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder, two attempted second-degree murder charges, and a handgun violation in October. He opened fire on three detectives in March 2011, wounding one of them seriously enough that he has been unable to return to active duty, according to prosecutors.

"This outrageous act of violence demonstrated an absolute disregard for human life," State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said. "We must do all that we can to protect the honorable men and women who have sworn to protect us, and so we are gratified by this result."

At a news conference the Monday after the shooting, then-police commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III shared his frustration that Gough had been able to get a handgun despite having a previous firearm conviction.

"After they get arrested, they get guns again," he said, holding up the case as an example of why tougher gun laws were needed.

Gough had been involved in a series of confrontations with police, eventually receiving a six-month sentence following a run-in at a bus stop in 2009.

In the March 2011 incident, detectives Michael Rice, Daniel Hersl and Latosha Tinsley saw Gough riding a bicycle near E. 25th Street and Harford Road and thought it odd that he was wearing a leather jacket on what was a warm evening, according to the state's attorney's office.

The detectives also noticed that Gough was using just one hand to steer while keeping the other by his side and suspected that he was carrying a gun, prosecutors said.

As the detectives got out of their unmarked car, Gough opened fire hitting Rice between his neck and shoulder. Hersl and Tinsley shot back, wounding Gough, prosecutors said.

The state's attorney's office said Gough told police he shot because he did not want to go to jail for having a handgun.

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