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February 14, 2007
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Md. officer fatally shoots man reaching for gun

By Nick Shields
The Baltimore Sun

Police serving a warrant early yesterday at an eastern Baltimore County home as part of a homicide investigation shot and killed the suspect's father, authorities said.

The shooting occurred about 5 a.m., after tactical unit officers entered the residence of a suspect in the death of a Dundalk man, Baltimore County police said. Another man in the house reached for a gun and refused police demands to stop, and an officer fired several shots, hitting the man at least once, county police said.

The man, identified as Danny Hammonds, 52, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Hammonds was the father of the suspect and lived in the house in the 7200 block of Eastern Ave., police said.

Police said the man's son was arrested at the house, which is in a strip of shops and offices across from Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Another man had been arrested at his Dundalk home as part of the homicide investigation, but police had not named him.

Police did not identify the officer who shot Hammonds.

The shooting occurred as police served a warrant as part of an investigation that was launched after Joseph Francis Hoffman, 51, was found dead Saturday in his home in the 200 block of S. Woodwell Road. Police said they were called to the house after Hoffman's brother discovered his body.

An autopsy showed that Hoffman died of blunt force trauma, police said.

There were eight police-involved shootings - two of them fatal - involving Baltimore County police officers last year, officials said. Yesterday's fatal shooting by a police officer was the second this year, county police said.

The first occurred Jan. 6, after police were called about a disturbance at an Essex-area lounge, officials said.

While at the lounge, officers encountered a man with a gun who drove off in a car, pursued by three police cars, officials said.

The subject lost control of his car and crashed into a parked vehicle.

He got out of the car and fired at police, who returned fire and shot him, officials said. The man was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

County police investigate all uses of deadly force. Four of last year's police shootings were found to be consistent with department policy. The others are under review, police said.

Copyright 2007 The Baltimore Sun Company
All Rights Reserved

Full story: Md. officer fatally shoots man reaching for gun

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