Baltimore County police shot and killed a 39-year-old man Tuesday afternoon after he opened fire on officers while leaving a meeting at a parole and probation center in Northwest Baltimore, police said.
A city police spokesman said two county detectives were following the man, a suspect in an armed robbery. When the officers attempted to arrest him outside his vehicle at the intersection of Metro and Mount Hope drives about 1:30 p.m., the suspect fired a .50-caliber handgun, Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
The suspect, identified Wednesday morning as Christopher Shelton, was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead about an hour later, police said. Shelton was convicted in 1999 of armed robbery in Baltimore County, and electronic court records indicate he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. It was unclear when he was released from that sentence.
In 1993, Shelton was also convicted on two armed robbery counts in Howard County and received 10 years in prison.
Officials from the union that represents parole and probation officers expressed concern over security at the state offices, and were expected to meet with agents from that building Wednesday. In June 2008, two agents at an East Preston Street office were injured by a man who became violent when a city police officer tried to serve him with a warrant. A female officer suffered a concussion, and a male officer’s wrist was broken.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III visited the scene, the second time in as many days he had to respond to a police-involved shooting in his jurisdiction. Although county officers fired the fatal shot, city police are handling the investigation.
A gray Jeep Cherokee driven by Shelton was riddled with about 10 bullet holes.
Police described the gun used by the suspect Tuesday as a powerful weapon. Guglielmi said police have recovered about 2,450 handguns and that more than 1,000 arrests have been made on gun charges since January. Bealefeld, speaking to the news media after the incident, repeated his assertion that gun offenders should receive more jail time.
“We’re going to work our tails off to get them out of the city and put them in jail,” Bealefeld said. “That’s where they belong.”
The shooting occurred near a school for developmentally disabled children.
The incident was the fourth police-involved shooting in Baltimore in 11 days. On Monday, a man who shot two people in Brooklyn was killed by police after officers chased the suspect about three blocks and shot him in the chest. A week ago, a 22-year-old man with no record of prior arrests was shot and killed by police shortly after midnight Wednesday during a drug investigation. And on Dec. 4, an off-duty police officer shot one of two suspects who were holding up a Hampden liquor store.