Police: 2 dead after Balt. Co. barricade

Posted at 10:16 AM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 06:18:36-04
An otherwise routine call to police reporting an assault soon escalated with SWAT teams converging on Fenor Lane in Halethorpe.

"I could have sworn it was an AK-47,” said a neighbor who did not wish to be identified.  “It was like, 'Dah!  Dah!  Dah!  Dah!  Dah!  Dah!' and then the police was yelling for me to go back.  Turn around and go back... that it was active."

Authorities quickly placed nearby Baltimore Highlands Elementary School on alert, and word spread of a barricade situation with an armed man inside a rowhome.

A school alert status is issued during community emergencies occurring outside of a school building, police say. School facilities were monitored and secured.

"I heard someone has people barricaded in the house and somebody was shot and then it went to being shot and then I heard she's dead, and like I said, I've known her pretty much half my life," Sherry Tarun said.

It was a fact supported by an image captured by a neighbor on a cellphone across the street as the heavily-armed officers arrived and discovered the body of a woman on the sidewalk.

"When officers arrived on the scene, the set up a safe perimeter and call for specialized resources,” said Cpl. John Wachter of the Baltimore County Police Department, “At approximately 10:45 this morning, tactical officers removed a female from in front of the home.  She was declared deceased at the scene."

Police summoned the gunman's relatives to a nearby American Legion hall and taped personal appeals from them to play for the man pleading for him to surrender.

At one point, family members say they even delivered him some cigarettes that he had requested as part of the negotiations and flash bangs and tear gas would follow.

In the end, it would all prove to be in vain.

"Unfortunately at 1:30 this afternoon, he was seen lying on the floor of the home suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Wachter said. “He was declared deceased at the scene."

According to the family, it was a late-night heroin binge that carried over this morning that set the stage for the deadly confrontation between the unidentified shooter and his girlfriend.

"Basically it was a fight over a pill this morning,” said Donald Bruce who says he’s known the gunman for decades, "They got into an argument.  He slapped her apparently.  She called the police and was running out the front door and that's when shots were fired.  It's such a tragedy to see what drugs can do to people."

Police are not releasing the names of the victims until they can notify their next of kin.

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