Reporting Mike Hellgren
RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — The medical examiner just ruled the death of a teenager in Baltimore County a homicide. It happened during a confrontation with an off-duty officer.
Mike Hellgren has the new developments.
The medical examiner said the 17-year-old junior at Randallstown High School died of asphyxiation. His family tells WJZ he was active in his church and the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and athletics, and that he recently injured his leg. They find it hard to believe that he ran away from the law.
The mother and aunt of Christopher Brown, 17, are demanding answers in his death. Police say it happened after a fight with an off-duty police officer in Randallstown.
“It was by somebody’s hands, you know what I’m saying?” Chris Brown, Christopher Brown’s mother, said. “And it was an officer who should have known better.”
“We have peace about where he is now. We don’t have peace about how he got there,” Christopher Brown’s aunt Charlene Harven said.
“To hear this, it was like, it’s still a bad dream,” Chris Brown said.
Police say the off-duty officer heard a bang at his front door on Susanna Road, saw several people running away and chased them. Police say he caught up with Brown nearby on Starbrook Road but Brown ran away again, hiding in some bushes and refusing to come out.
“So the officer reached into the bushes and pulled him out,” Elise Armacost, spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police Department, said. “At that point, the young man engaged in a physical fight. When the young man became unconscious, the officer began immediately providing CPR.”
“All I’m thinking is, he’s wondering, ‘What is this guy going to do to me?’” Chris Brown said.
“I just still hope going down to the coroner’s office that it won’t be Christopher,” Harven said.
Neighbors say the teenager was going door-to-door asking for hel, and they say it was a nurse in the community — not the officer — who administered CPR.
Police know of no weapons used. They also do not know if the officer was injured or if he identified himself.
“It’s going to likely take us a little bit of time to get to the bottom of what happened here,” Armacost said.
“I was thinking of having to pack up clothes, getting things together. That’s just unreal,” Chris Brown said. “We definitely need some justice, some answers.”
The officer is on routine administrative leave with pay. He’s been on the force for nine years.
Police have not yet identified the officer.