FERNADALE, Md. (WJZ) — A 61-year-old man is dead after he was shot by an officer trying to enforce Maryland’s new ‘red flag’ law in Ferndale Monday morning.

Anne Arundel County Police confirmed the police-involved shooting happened in the 100 block of Linwood Avenue around 5:17 a.m.


According to police, two officers serving a new Extreme Risk Protective Order (Red Flag Law), a Maryland protective order to remove guns from a household, shot and killed the man listed on that order.

“Under the law, family, police, mental health professionals can all ask for the protective orders to remove weapons,” said Sgt. Jacklyn David, with Anne Arundel County Police.

That man was identified as Gary J. Willis of same address.

Officials said Willis answered the door while holding a handgun.

Willis then placed the gun next to the door.

When officers began to serve him the order, Willis became irate and grabbed his gun.

One of the officers tried to take the gun from Willis, but instead Willis fired the gun.

The second officer fired a gun, striking Willis. He died at the scene.

No police officers were injured and others inside the house were unharmed.

Police continue to investigate the shooting. At this time it’s not clear who called police to alert them about Willis.

Anne Arundel County Police have only had nine “red flag” calls so far.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Homicide Unit at 410-222-4731. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are asked to call the Tip Line at 410-222-4700.

This is a developing story. Stay with WJZ for updates.

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Comments (187)
  1. David Sommer says:

    This exactly the type murder that the law was intended to generate. Democrats will not be happy until everyone is disarmed and we are all returned to serfdom ruled by “our betters”; at least that is how they see themselves… If that servile existence is what they believe we will accept instead of freedom they are gravely mistaken.

    1. Vince Crandell says:

      You are correct. These laws are going to used to disarm the public. They know that they cannot do it through mass confiscation (it would be a bloodbath for the authorities). So they will do it through unconstitutional laws such as these ERPOs. Her in Kalifornia they will soon be expanding the ERPOs to include people we work with, our neighbors, and anyone with a personal relationship to the gun owner. Which will pretty much encompass anyone that knows you have firearms. Out here, there is no due process until the guns are confiscated and a judge has up to 3 weeks to hear the case in which HE will determine if there was a sufficient threat to remove the firearms, or not. A clear violation of the 2A and 4A. I hope that Mr. Willis’ family is getting a good lawyer to file a wrongful death suit against AA County.

      1. Dave Diesel says:

        No amount of possible compensation will give him his life back, The horrid memories the
        rest of the family will last to the grave.
        If they kill a provider or a business owner, they probably will lose everything and if they
        shoot you and you go to the hospital, that repair job is on you.
        This procedure amounts to snitches turning in people for the SS.
        “They” will never call first and will come at any hr. And they will not leave with out the guns,
        including if they have to destroy the entire property to get them. They will also kill your pets.
        Every person in the country will now play Alamo even if they think you have a gun from
        phoney info. God help you if you are sleeping. Many are going to die.

  2. Deb Boneschans says:

    This is unconstitutional and a higher court needs to address this! This is bullchit people! Wake up! This is a gun grab law! Grrrrr

    1. Mike Amerine says:

      It is NOT unconstitutional. The Maryland constitution is one of those that does not provide protection for the citizen’s right of self defense. It is up to the people of that State to fix the 100% immoral law.

      There may be pieces of the law (and certainly the enforcement strategy) that are unconstitutional due to Maryland’s constitutional protections against certain aspects of private property seizures.

      …and don’t try to “incorporate” here. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is only applicable to the federal congress attempting to pass laws that would infringe on ownership and possession of firearms.

      1. Ellie-Elna Griffin Mooneyham says:

        The Bill of Rights of which the second amendment is a part applies to all the states or local government. That is how the gun laws in DC were changed and in other states. By Supreme Court ruling. The Constitution applys to all the people.

      2. Ken MacDonald says:

        Mike Amerine,

        “It is NOT unconstitutional. The Maryland constitution is one of those that does not provide protection for the citizen’s right of self defense…. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is only applicable to the federal congress”

        This comment demonstrates a shocking ignorance of basic civics. The US Constitution is supreme over state and local governments and the privileges and immunities clause could not be more clear as to the restrictions of state and local governments to deny Americans our basic human rights.

      3. Ja Malcolmsson says:

        61 years old. Never a gun crime. nice quiet neighborhood….government is government and tyranny is tyranny. The highest law of the land states that every individual has the right to bear arms. no law shall infringe upon that. the language is perfectly clear. You are witnessing the disarming of a nation, for what? what’s coming? who are they clearing the path for? gin laws do not protect people. gun laws disarm the honest people of this country. creating a vacuum, what’s going to fill it when nobody has a means of defense? These are the questions that people need to ponder in honest fashion!

      4. Steve Smith says:

        I respectfully disagree. Federal Law supersedes State Law, The Constitution and Bill of Rights applies to everyone who lives in the Republic. There are several Constitutional violations here.

  3. James B. Burkhart says:

    It was a seizure order with no search warrant, unconstitutional. Seems the people that enacted this illegal end run on gun owners want both officers and gun owners dead. By the way, he set the gun down beside the door to read the seizure order, realized it was not a legal search warrant and pick the gun back up to protect him self from illegal search and seizure without a warrant. By constitutional law he was attempting to legally protect himself, his home, and his rights under the Constitution. Amazing how the media does not report that little fact.

  4. Steven Flynn says:

    “Red Coat” Law.
    Police have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
    Police have kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies with the consent of our corrupt legislatures.
    Police have affected to render the Police independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
    Police have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended Law Enforcement:
    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock trial from punishment for any murders, thefts, rapes and homicides which they commit on the inhabitants of these States:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
    Police have abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of their protection and waging War against us.
    Police have plundered our homes, ravaged our communities, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    Police have bared arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
    In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress but have been told to remain silent or it will be used against us: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury and death. A Police Officer, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to protect and serve free people.

  5. Chet Norris says:

    Well, there went your second Amendment. All involved, from Maryland’s Governor all the way doy to the cop involved… Murder and conspiracy to commit murder….

  6. Abraham De La Torre says:

    This very sad. An innocent man murdered in his own front door by the very people who are supposed to protect him. Is this the new excuse now to shoot someone, ‘A treat to themselves or others??’ You all should be ashamed for what you are doing. The American people will not forget this and the other unnecessary death to come from your idiot state laws that the rest of us don’t share.

  7. Laws such as these are similar to ones that sparked a revolution a few hundred years ago; WIll history repeat itself? I sincerely hope not but only time will tell.

  8. Harry Thomas says:

    And so it begins. The Gun Gestapo kicking down the doors of American gun owners and killing them.

  9. Iso Samhadi says:

    More bad laws killing our citizens…can you spell Syria? Law makers who care nothing about the people they allegedly represent.

  10. Ashmoore Everman says:

    Unless these people are felons they have no right to take any guns away. Sorry for the cop who shot him but since you were “just following orders” it should be involuntary-manslaughter charges for you and partner severing an Unlawful summons.

  11. Lindsay Ford says:

    you vote these a-holes in

  12. Jake Bertuglia says:

    The unconstitutional MURDER of citizens who refuse to give up their rights. I bet the officers will not even be charged…. WW2 Germany anyone?

  13. Rick McMillan says:

    Guns what guns? Mine where stole during a burglary about 2 yrs ago!

    1. Dave Diesel says:

      They will tear you house and property apart and when they find them you go to jail.

  14. Rick Bakker says:

    Just like in the movies!!!

  15. Rusty Morris says:

    So, why didn’t the LEOs (1)remove the ammo from the gun and (2) place the gun on the same spot the owner placed the gun?

    1. motografix says:

      They didn’t “unload his gun and set it back ” for the same reason he didn’t reach over and unload the Officers weapons…I’m very pro law enforcement: but this doesn’t seem anything like “due process”!

  16. Roger Stroupe says:

    The cold dead hands of a man in his home as Maryland begins it’s treading, the same state that made room for rioters to burn Baltimore.

  17. Rich Coon says:

    Should be some lawsuits coming soon. No due process, no criminal accusation. I hope this one makes it to the supreme court.

  18. Communist state of Maryland…will avoid in my travels and make sure I don’t spend any money there if I have to transit the state. But that is unlikely since I regularly avoid points north.

  19. William Brower says:

    Wow, all these comments here seem to think this was a 2nd amendment issue….do any of you know the history of the man? Had he been terrorizing his neighbors and family? You don’t know. Was he suffering from a significant mental illness? You don’t know. Was he a Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD and had been acting erratically? You don’t know. Look at the California shooter from the other day….too bad he didn’t have his guns taken away. I fully support the right to bear arms, but there’s a fairly large number of people who, either through their actions or mental state, SHOULDN’T be allowed to own guns. This law was passed to hopefully prevent a mass shooting by removing guns from unstable people. It’s not some devious master plan to confiscate American’s firearms.

    1. Geneva Hundley says:

      His sister said he was angry and asked for the “red flag”. Nosey family member got him killed.

    2. Michelle West says:

      Exactly. If someone was threatening to come after me and shoot me why wouldn’t I try to protect myself and others, by asking for guns to be removed while the situation is addressed? Why should I be a victim? It is now the law. If you do not like it move to another state. People totally overreact and act like it is the huge government plan to take all guns away. You are paranoid and maybe you shouldn’t have a weapon either!! Any rational person knows the government is not trying to take everybody’s guns and the sooner all these paranoid people get that the safer everyone will be! Nobody has asked or proposed all guns be taken away or made illegal. Common sense tells you do not pick up a gun when the police are standing with you – period. He didn’t need to “protect” his home from the police – that is ludicrous.

  20. Tom Fewya says:

    Wait till the names of the officers come out . If the nedia hides it go after the media .

  21. Thomas Sexton says:

    Mr. Brower…I have no problem with you comment IF the government (a detached judicial officer) had held hearings on this man’s mental state and abilities to possess firearms. However, just to sent the police to confiscate weapons based on somebody’s opinion that he didn’t need to possess them (if this is what has transpired) ain’t gonna get it!! I can see bad, bad, things happening because of “laws” like this in Maryland.

  22. Richard Baker says:

    Who all is up to head to Maryland and put the State Government in it’s place? It is time we the people retake our country. This was only the beginning unless we stop it.

  23. Timothy Pace says:

    Tasers and stun guns are non lethal and quite effective at that range.

  24. Shane Larson says:

    Cant seem to find my old comment so… I decided to edit and sum up a few thoughts. I saw a comment saying the cops should have been shot when I read the article and some of the comments and that is just sickening. They should never have been there (maybe we don’t know how or who started all of it or put in the protective order) but the people responsible are the politicians. People blame cops and all kinds of other things but never those truly responsible in this case politicians and who ever backs them or that particular law. Example I don’t just blame Pence for being a idiot about science and climate change, I blame him and companies like big oil. Anyway I digress, I encourage everyone to pay attention to this. Any state that thinks “family” or some other BS is a good enough reason to try to confiscate arms..in my opinion needs to be stopped. It is called “right to bear arms” and “Due process” for a reason. Yes the after affects are horrible, However the article points out that they are unsure who called it in. Hell it could have been swatting. By law, in that state you have to be a doctor, a judge or family I believe. The family part to me is BS and easily can lead to all kinds of problems. But either way we have a constitutional right to bear arms. Cops coming to your property via swatting or via some other BS is not due process in my book. No medical hearing no nothing just armed cops at your door telling you to give up your guns. BS that is fascism at its finest. The fact that some are fine with it is not surprising but, on veterans day seriously? Your saying that some of the rights we went and protected should be just sold out whole sale. PS cops showing up to take your guns is not defensive. My point is if they don’t know how or why it was called in why were they there in the first place. By all accounts this was a law abiding citizen that was protecting his right to bear arms. Now he payed the price for waving gun at cops, but I absolutely think this red flag law needs to be looked at. P.S. just because someone is family does not mean they are a doctor or someone that should be making the decision about your rights. Though I do not know what was exchanged as far as between him and the cops. Hey may have been a bad guy or completely reasonable we will never know. It is a shame that this law that was poorly written and implemented put cops in danger and ended with someone dead.

  25. The good/bad cop question can be disposed of decisively. All one needs to to consider is the following. Every cop has agreed, as part of his job, is to enforce ALL laws. Many of these laws are unjust, unconstitutional, and cruel and wicked. Therefore, every cop has agreed to act as an an enforcer of laws that are manifestly unjust, unconstitutional, and even cruel and wicked. There are NO good cops.

  26. Jimmie Jordan says:

    They had served this to 131 people in a month when this happened. They are disarming Maryland and getting by with it.

  27. I spent about a decade in law enforcement. I can’t imagine being given such a crazy order with zero due process. It’s a clear violation of a number of US Constitutional Amendments. Just because it hasn’t been struck down yet doesn’t mean law enforcement should be conducting raids especially at 5am. I can’t think of a worse time to do this. This guy isn’t a drug dealer. He’s a guy coming out of sleep with two armed men at his door. Where I live is much safer than anywhere in Maryland and it’s still not uncommon for people to answer the door armed at that hour. To then transition to a gun removal order? Are these officer’s insane? The guy probably didn’t believe they were really law enforcement. When I read this I considered how I and a number of my current and retired law enforcement friends would respond to this not knowing about this law. It would likely be the same way.

    This death was 100% avoidable and the Sheriff or official claiming this in some way magically protected people is an abomination. Thank god no person like your Sheriff works in law enforcement in my part of the country. Here they actually believe in the Bill of Rights. Which ever official is making such a claim needs to find a new line of work. No wonder there are so many problems related to police shootings and corruption in Maryland. These departments are run by political amateurs undeserving of the badge and title. There’s no valid excuse or explanation for this tragedy. If you’re going to keep doing it do it in the middle of the day you morons. Separate the target from the home and their weapons BEFORE going into the order. Secure them! Amateur hour all around and a man is dead for nothing. Nice work mental giants.

  28. a man is served with a warrant to confiscate his gun. The man reaches for his gun and is shot to death. This sounds like an extermination order. How was he supposed to give the officers his gun and was it explained to him before hand?

  29. Duane McCann says:

    You officers are murders TRASH!! I will spend millions of my own money to see you both charged with murder and the a hole that said something and the murderous judge who gave this unconstitutional order and all dirty corrupt politicians. You are 100% guilty and must be dealt with this just boils my blood Iv’e had it!!! We The People stand up for your rights and fight back!! Help your neighbors if they come you all take em OUT!!!

  30. Hal Bo says:

    …you liberals have opened a can of worms.

  31. Tena Wheeler says:

    I hope whoever sent the cops over there is pleased with themselves.

  32. Raoul Walsh says:

    Just an “FYI”: The officer that committed this act, along with the judge who issued the warrant, should NOW both be classified as “felons”, and be held in custody – awaiting trial. They violated Mr. Willis 2nd Amendment AND 14th Amendment rights, in violation of 18 US Code 241 “Conspiracy Against Rights”, and 18 US Code 242 “Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law”.
    Feel free to look those up.

  33. John Mitchell says:

    They didn’t say who ordered the court order to remove his guns, they didn’t say the reason they was removing his guns, now that the mans dead we will only hear one side of story, because other story is dead, now they can say what ever they want, and I bet you wont hear another word on this matter,, and cover it up.

  34. David Michalowski says:

    The crucial question is… was the dead owner’s gun registered ?

  35. Lisa Amador says:

    Hey CBS Local. If you can’t tell us WHO asked for the protective order, then you’re not doing your job. It’s the most important fact of this story. Other than a man is dead, of course. How these laws are carried out is YOUR JOB AS THE PRESS to know. It’s why you’re given so much freedom. This woman is a joke as a journalist. The public needs to know how they could become the next target.

  36. Mark Kahle says:

    Congratulations to the family or the shrink that had the order issued.

    You just murdered a man for exercising his god given rights and obviously don’t have the balls to say so.

  37. Rudy Rios says:

    What’s the old saying? “Don’t start nothing, it won’t be nothing.”

  38. Tim Stieve says:

    Officers are generally required to swear an oath to uphold the constitution, These officers and the Chief of the agency should be held accountable, And dont give me following orders nonsense, it doesn’t fly

  39. Kristopher Howe says:

    Let me fix the title for you….. “Elderly man murdered by police who attempted to violate the mans constitutional rights”

    1. Steven Teach says:

      The story on the local news was that the Victim was in an argument over politics with an estranged family member that decided to seek revenge on the Law abiding citizen. Anyone with an axe to grind with a gun owner now has where with all to ruin his life and his families life or terminate this person through Vendetta. The accuser or “dime dropper” has no accountability whatsoever…….NO DUE PROCESS….

  40. Donald W VanDeusen says:

    This will be the shot that is heard around the world as being the first shot of the 2nd civil war in our country. millions should be inside Maryland right now protesting this act of murder. The man had a right to protect his home.

  41. Sidney S Graubard says:

    The man was protecting himself from tyranny.

  42. Joe Greenwell says:

    No Constitutional Right should ever be abridged without that person appearing before a judge and granted all due process including their right to confront the accuser.

  43. Bill Roark says:

    I must say, I am a little more than confused why so many of you making comments are all about negative law enforcement. If you read the article you would see this dead man met the threshold of 1) Being a danger to himself or others 2) Ajudicated mentally ill by the Court and/or 3) Found to have committed a violent crime or has been served with a Domestic Restraining Order. Now, if he had a gun in hand when answering the door and eventually got perturbed to the point where he fired his weapon, the Officer’s had every right to shoot him and be justified in doing so. I’mma big gun owner, but, I do believe in this kind of law. If the law had been followed at the Parkland School in Florida, the shooter would not have had any guns to commit that crime. Think about it people.

  44. David Leach says:

    The Leftist plans are being implemented…Trump is our last chance to fight this communist govt takeover.

  45. ClioCJS says:

    The snowflakeism here is frickin’ awesome. As if 1,000 grampas who spend 8 hrs a day saying “taxation is theft” all shook their fists at the same time.

  46. Arthur Nicander says:

    This is an Illegal and Unconstitutional law enacted by the very same people that took an oath to preserve and protect Or Constitution. They forced the LEOs to commit murder to enforce that Illegal and Unconstitutional law. All involved should be arrested by Federal Marshals and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law of the land, that very same Constitution of Ours that they swore an oath to, as accessories before the fact.!! Our Constitution that is needed to be enforced to control these run away governments, Federal, State and local.!! They Conspired to commit murder.!! Their so called law was and is an infringement to Our Constitution’s Bill of Rights Second Amendment.!!…..

  47. Rooster Cogburn says:

    Unconstitutional on many levels. His right to bear arms in defense of himself and his property, regardless of some law forbidding him to do so. Violation of his right to due process. etc etc.

    But the big picture here, and the real problem at hand, is Police willing to ignore the oath they took, to “SUPPORT and DEFEND the Constitution of the United States, from ALL enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC”, and therefor the PEOPLE that Constitution represents, against a corrupt Government, because of a paycheck. You sold your soul for a paycheck, when what you should be doing is telling the corrupt politicians pushing these authoritarian laws through, to go confiscate the weapons themselves, that it violates the oath you took.

  48. Bob Brown says:

    Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler must be laughing down in hell over this.

  49. Ruth Johnson says:

    So, why didn’t the guy just do as the cops asked? He could have worked it out in court. If this is the law, then we must conform or suffer the consequences. Sound familiar??? His sister actually asked for help. They did not just pick him and come to “grab” his gun. When entire families are killed, then we want to say, why didn’t they just take his gun before this happened. The family reported it but got no help because there was no law to protect them. STOP THE BS!!!!! You can’t have your cake and eat it too Gun Freaks!!

  50. https://youtu.be/OpCbQlZB_oE
    This is why we have guns if it was you. You would be dead today

  51. Vincent Squitieri says:

    Just another loop hole law in a Democratic state to remove our guns and as usual, being the spineless americans that we are, just let it happen while we have our faces stuck in our cell phones because thats so much more important than our rights! americans are nothing but a bunch of pathetic suckers!!!

  52. Robert Smith says:

    Red Flag laws are the most diabolical, ill-conceived laws ever perpetrated on the American people. Many will die in the cause of “prevention”. Don’t turn our police and our friends, neighbors and relatives into killers in this sideways attempt to take our guns! Cold dead hands is not a joke. This is not only an attack on the second amendment but the very foundation of our laws!

  53. Gary May says:

    No where in the article does it say “why” his guns wee being confiscated nor “Who” requested the seizure.

  54. Mary Burton says:

    You will take my gun from my cold dead hand. It has begun.

  55. Reid Sartin says:

    “Only” 9 so far?…

  56. Billy Frady says:

    SO the man was murdered, What was his crime again ? I mean what crime did he comment to bring police to his door to shot him. His home is suppose to be where he has his RIGHTS more then anywhere else. The bill of rights are rights we are born with , not given to by our government , this is what the Bill of rights is for, to tell the government these rights are not for them to govern. Don’t worry the democrats will not stop until the Constitution is no more. One by one the police will murder anyone and everyone who stands for there rights. No court date no hearing, just police at your door. Sadly this is so wrong. The Bill of rights was suppose to be rights that are not for elected officials to change or infringe upon. Sadly many do not see a problem with this ” the 2nd” being torn apart, But what happens when it is the first or the fourth? What happens when you have no say so at all. Right now the democrat’s fight for the rights of people who are not citizens. They even fought a law that would have reported illegals who lied on the form to buy firearms. Because they fight more for other country’s rights then for the very citizens they are suppose to work for.

  57. Tickedoff Person says:

    Guilty until proven innocent. Our law system in reverse

  58. Keith Lacey says:

    Simply UnConstitutional. As soon as I saw some of these back door gun grabber laws start rolling out, I knew it was a matter of time before someone was killed in their own home with no search warrant or due process. THIS is exactly why there is a 2nd Amendment. It provides restrictions on the Government and guarantees certain Freedoms for a reason…

  59. red flag laws are unconstitutional and pure evil this is an act of treason period and murder.

  60. Jim Gregori says:

    Who’s the idiot that called him in declaring that he was unfit to have a firearm???… The mentality of those who call the police should be called into question. How about MIND YOUR OWN DAM BUSINESS…… The guy would have been alive today if those self-righteous people had not gotten involved. There probably will be tons of arguments about who has authority to initiate a demand for the law to take YOUR guns. This is sick.

  61. Annabel Lee says:

    They had no business at this mans home trying to infringe upon his 2nd Amendment rights. This man would still be alive if not for the rabid left and their lunacy.

  62. John Tyler says:

    Considering they are breaking Federal rules set out in the constitution and now have killed a man for it , the feds need to move in and take care of the criminal acts they have allowed by making their own laws against it.

  63. Mr deplorable says:

    That news guy seems positively giddy, referring to the dead man as a dangerous gun owner. The man would still be alive and no shots fired, if the jackbooted thugs led by nazi elected officials hadn’t sent the goon squad to kill him. Looks like police are getting their wish, shoot a bunch of citizens.

  64. Only criminals wants to disarm a Nation (or State, County, etc.). These so called, “Officer” murdered a law abiding citizen because some Liberal did not like him having guns. These “Officers” are lackeys for Democrats.

  65. Wayne Piercy says:

    Do as your told or Democrats will have you summarily executed on your front lawn.

  66. Johnnie Thomaston says:

    It has started.

  67. Bart Snell says:

    Every LEO involved in this travesty of justice needs to be tried, convicted and imprisoned. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.OF.THEM.

  68. Sambo LB says:

    Article VI Paragraph 2 of the Constitution; This “Supremacy Clause” establishes and recognizes IN PERPETUITY that the United States Constitution supersedes ALL other federal, state, and local laws. ‘Red Flag’ laws brazenly violate the Second, Fourth, and Fifth amendments of the United States Constitution. Since the Constitution IS the law of the land, superseding ALL other laws, ‘red flag’ laws cannot and should not be enforced.