REISTERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ)— A confrontation in Baltimore County ends in gunfire and death. An officer shoots a man after police say he came at them with a large sword.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on what happened.

A near-fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy led Baltimore County police to a home in Reisterstown. Now three people are charged and one man is dead.

Baltimore County Police are now investigating the shooting death of Ronald Melvin Cox Jr., 48, after police say he attacked officers with a sword.

“It was a very large sword, somewhere in the range of 3 feet long,” said Detective Cathy Batton, Baltimore County Police.

The shooting happened just before midnight at his home in 400-block of Highmeadow Road in Reisterstown, where police were serving a search warrant in connection with an attempted murder case of a 15-year-old boy.

“The officer then opened fire to stop the attack,” Batton said.

The sword-swinging suspect died at the scene.

Neighbors are still in shock.

“It’s kind of scary knowing that someone died a house away,” said Michael Guilet, neighbor.

Police say Cox had no connection with the attempted murder case.  However, acquaintenances Donald Peoples, 21, and Laura Karr, 24, are accused of kidnapping Sterling Watts, 15, of Reisterstown, as he walked home. Police say they left him for dead after shooting him at a field in Howard County.

Detectives believe that on June 19, Peoples and Karr forced Watts into a car and then stopped at a Randallstown home and picked up a third suspect Chiquita Sketers, who got into the car with a long barrel rifle, loaded it with ammunition and told Watts he was going to die. They drove Watts to the field and ordered him out of the car at gunpoint. Investigators believe that as Watts walked away, Peoples shot him in the back of the head.

Karr and Peoples were arrested at the home and charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, kidnapping, first- and second-degree assault and gun charges.  Sketers, is also charged with attempted murder, assault and kidnapping.

Through investigation, including interviews with the victim and an anonymous tip, detectives identified Peoples and Karr as suspects, and Karr’s silver 2012 Mazda as the vehicle involved in the kidnapping. Additional information led detectives to identify Sketers as the third suspect.

Investigators learned that suspects matching Peoples’ and Karr’s descriptions have been seen driving a silver car through Watts’ neighborhood selling illegal drugs. The detectives also learned that a drug dealer and his girlfriend matching Peoples’ and Karr’s descriptions were robbed by an unknown person earlier on the same day as the shooting.

“It’s really scary. It really is ’cause we really had no violence or anything in this area. And all of a sudden something like this happens and it makes you rethink where you live and who you’re around,” said Christina Hill, neighbor.

Watts suffered from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. He was released from the hospital Wednesday.

The name of the officer involved in this shooting has not been released. A member of the Tactical Unit, he has been with the police department for 17 years. He remains on paid administrative leave.

The deadly shooting remains under investigation by Baltimore County homicide detectives.


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