Few details released in fatal FBI shooting in Owings Mills

April 12, 2014|By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun

The FBI said Saturday three of its special agents were working with other law enforcement on a drug investigation when agents fatally shot a man Friday in Owings Mills, but declined to release key details about the circumstances of the incident.

In a statement, the FBI said the agents and other officers "encountered the subject who was in his vehicle" before fatally shooting him. The incident took place around 4:45 p.m. in the 9700 block of Reisterstown Road on an access road to a shopping complex that includes a Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.

FBI spokeswoman Amy Thoreson said she could release no other information about the incident because it is under investigation. She had no timetable for when more information could be available. Baltimore County officials were expected to provide the identification of the man who was killed sometime Saturday.

A man who said he witnessed the incident said law enforcement had an SUV surrounded before the vehicle backed up, and he saw smoke that he thought was from gunshots. Family members of the man who was killed were at the scene, but declined to comment.

The FBI has in some other cases released few details for lengthy periods of time in cases in which agents shoot people. Last month, the FBI released its findings in the fatal shooting of a Chechen man who was shot by an agent in Orlando in May 2013 amid the investigation into the bombings at the Boston Marathon. The agent was cleared of wrongdoing internally and by a state attorney in Florida. But a Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit to obtain records about the investigation into the shooting.

According to an investigation last year by The New York Times, FBI agents fatally shot about 70 people and wounded 80 others between 1993 and early 2011 nationwide. Each case was deemed justified by the FBI.

Those cases would include that of an unarmed Pasadena man who was shot in the face in 2002 by an FBI agent who mistook him for a bank robber. An Anne Arundel County grand jury declined to indict the FBI agent involved, but a county police report said the search for the robbery suspect was flawed, and the incident led to a public apology from Baltimore's top FBI agent.

cwells@baltsun.com

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