PARKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — The officer shot in Parkville Thursday was injured by friendly fire, according to police.
Police Officer First Class T. Hays, a 13-year-veteran of the force, remains in stable condition at Shock Trauma after she was shot in the upper body.
Police initially thought the suspect fired at the officers, but after reviewing body camera footage they believe the man picked up his gun and pointed it at officers and did not follow officers’ commands to put down the weapon.
The suspect in Thursday’s shooting was identified as 76-year-old Robert Uhl Johnson. Johnson died as a result of the shooting.
Johnson called 911 and reported an unknown armed man was inside the home in the 3000 block of Linwood Avenue, police said. The suspect then hung up on the 911 dispatcher as she tried to get more information. 911 called back the home multiple times with no answer — finally dispatching officers to the scene.
“He called in a very calm demeanor and said that somebody was inside his house with a gun,” Baltimore County Police Corporal Shawn Vinson said.
When officers arrived around 1:37 p.m. they saw Johnson inside seated and facing the front door. One officer tried to engage with the suspect, but he refused to get up from his chair or leave the home.
Officers then got inside the home and directed Johnson to put his hands up. But Johnson didn’t listen, instead of grabbing his gun and said, “I’m sorry I have to do this.”
“It’s very clear on there, in audio, that he says, ‘I am sorry I have to do this,’ and lifts the handgun,” Vinson said.
Four officers fired their weapons at Johnson.
After investigating they learned Johnson’s gun was not loaded. He left his will and last request for burial out for officers to find. Police say that indicated this could be a “suicide by cop.”
Hays is currently assigned to the Parkville precinct and was involved in another police-involved shooting in 2008.
The three other officers involved in the shooting were also identified as:
- Police Officer First Class J. Hummel, an 18 year veteran with no prior police-involved shootings.
- Police Officer First Class A. Burns, a 17 ½ year veteran with no prior police-involved shootings.
- Police Officer First Class J. Deford, a 10 ½ year veteran with no prior police-involved shootings
The three officers were placed on routine leave.