Reporting Derek Valcourt
CATONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore County police officer opens fire–killing a man pointing a knife.
As Derek Valcourt reports–it happened off Edmondson Avenue in Catonsville.
Police say the officer acted in self-defense after spotting a suspicious man behind a gas station.
It all started with an officer on routine patrol.
As he passed the Shell Station at Edmondson Avenue and North Bend Road around 3:45 in the morning, he noticed a suspicious man behind the building. Police say when the officer asked the man to come out from behind the building, the man pulled out a knife.
“The officer did attempt to use a Taser to stop the situation, however it was ineffective. The man continued at the officer. He still had the knife, and he refused repeated commands by the officer to drop the knife,” said Cpl. Cathy Batton, Baltimore County Police.
Police say, fearing for his safety, the officer shot the man in the chest. Detectives have now identified that man as 36-year-old Gregory Stegall, who died at the scene.
“You have to be crazy to go at a cop with something,” said resident Michelle McCubbin.
Many neighbors slept through the shooting. Robert Mills moved his family out of the city to avoid crime, but now realizes no place is immune to violence.
“You can’t barricade yourself inside the house and not come out. You got to… life goes on. You gotta do what you gotta do. If your religious, you pray and you do what you can to stay safe,” Mills said.
Some neighbors questioned whether the man shot by police was the same man they’d seen loitering in this area around the gas station the last few days acting strangely.
Police have not identified the officer involved in the shooting but say he has been placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of their internal investigation.