DUNDALK, Md. — Baltimore County Police named the four officers placed on administrative leave after shooting a 19-year-old on April 14.
Police said Det. G. Depew (16-year veteran); Det. R. Johnson (33 years of service); Det. B. Lange (15 years of service); and Det. J. Trenary (15 years of service) all fired their guns at a suspect police said attempted to ram them with a car.
All four have been placed on paid administrative leave, pending investigation, per police protocol.
Identifying the suspects had been months in the making, but when Baltimore County police attempted to arrest two men on Thursday in Dundalk, within a matter of seconds, gunshots were fired.
“A vehicle on scene began to ram into one of our officer’s vehicles,” Baltimore County PIO Joy Stewart said. “As that was happening, our officers discharged their firearms.”
Several bullets struck a teen in the head and arms, but some, including a man who did not want to be identified, question the need to use such force.
“I mean, come on, the kid’s 19 years old,” said the man who claims to know the victim. “There was no need to unload a bunch of bullets in the man’s front window.”
People in the neighborhood who spoke with police say the two suspects they sought are wanted in connection with the stabbing death of 45-year-old Rosario “Tony” Valenti outside Papa’s Smokehouse on North Point Road in February of last year.
They say a fight inside the establishment spilled outside where a number of assailants teamed up on the victim, and he died a week after the attack from his injuries, but it remains unclear whether the police were in uniform during Thursday’s incident or whether the teen was aware that they were officers.
The young man wounded in Thursday’s shooting was not a suspect in that case, yet he too, is now left clinging to life.
“It’s disheartening to hear that it’s a 19-year-old child that is fighting for their life. It’s scary,” said Michelle Gray, who lives near the shooting scene, “Until we get a full report, I guess we’ll never know exactly what happened. I just feel for the family of the young boy who got shot. I really do.”