Police Response to Subject with a Gun Turns Deadly, Injures Officer

Baltimore County Police are identifying the officer shot during an officer-involved shooting in Parkville on May 2 as Police Officer First Class T. Hays, a 13 ½ year veteran of the force with one prior police-involved shooting in 2008, currently assigned to Parkville Precinct patrol. Officer Hays remains in stable condition at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma after suffering a gunshot wound to the upper body.

The deceased suspect in this shooting is identified as Robert Uhl Johnson, 76, residing in the 3000 block of Linwood Avenue, 21234, where police were dispatched to a call of a subject with a gun around 1:37 p.m. on May 2.

The Department provided misinformation shortly after the incident occurred, indicating that the suspect fired a weapon at the officers upon entering the home. Further review of body-worn camera footage and additional evidence now reveals that the suspect picked up a firearm, did not follow officers’ commands to put down the weapon, and pointed the gun at the officers, causing the officers to fire upon the suspect.

Officers were dispatched to the suspect’s home in the 3000 block of Linwood Avenue when Suspect Johnson called 9-1-1, methodically providing his personal information to the call-taker before stating that there was an unknown subject waiving a gun at him inside his home. Suspect Johnson hung up on the 9-1-1 call-taker when she attempted to gather additional information. Multiple attempts were made to contact the caller but he did not answer the phone on any call-back.

Officers from the Parkville Precinct approached the suspect’s home and observed him inside, seated in a chair facing the front door. One officer initiated conversation with the suspect, who refused to get up from the chair or exit the home. Suspect Johnson told the officer that he called 9-1-1 and that there was no one else inside the home. Officers further investigated by entering the house and directing Suspect Johnson to keep his hands up in the air. As the officers entered the home, Suspect Johnson lowered his right hand down to his thigh and picked up a handgun, pointing it at the officers as he said, “I’m sorry I have to do this.” Four officers fired their service weapons in response.

During the subsequent investigation by Homicide Unit detectives, it was determined that Suspect Johnson’s gun was not loaded. They also discovered that Suspect Johnson left his will and last requests for burial out for officers to find.

Officer Hays and three other responding officers fired their service weapons at the suspect. Those officers are currently on routine administrative leave and are identified as the following:

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 Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit will complete their investigation and submit the case to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

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