The call to police came from the 1000 block of North Fulton Avenue in West Baltimore this morning reporting a man who was threatening a four-year old girl and a one-year old baby boy with a butcher knife.
"He took hold of the two kids and was barricaded in a bedroom inside the home and had this knife---the knife is a large kitchen-style chef knife,” said Chief T.J. Smith of the Baltimore City Police Department, “and when officers arrived and were making commands for him drop the knife, he was making threats towards the children."
That's when a member of the SWAT team who has 14 years of service with the department pulled the trigger killing the suspect that turned out of be a member of the family.
"This was a relative and they said that this relative was on drugs and had started acting erratically,” said Smith, “The relative who spent the night at the home last night is described as homeless---a 39-year-old male."
Police say the man had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, and while the family made some mention of the drug 'Molly', they can't be certain what, if anything had driven him to threaten the children, but confronted with an active threat, police had no choice.
"This is a sad scenario all the way around, because it's still a family member,” said Smith, “and these children were in the midst of a situation that they hopefully will forget at that age, but you have a one-year-old and a four-year-old who held at knifepoint and then witnessed the incident take place with the shooting, so it's a sad situation all the way around."
Police say the officer who fired the fatal shot has been placed on routine, administrative duty, and he was equipped with a body camera that had been activated, so those images will also be reviewed as part of the investigation into the shooting.