Suspect fatally shot in Essex tried to grab officer’s pistol
Suspect fatally shot in Essex tried to grab officer’s pistol, police say
A Baltimore County police officer fatally shot a robbery suspect in Essex last week after the man attempted to grab the officer’s holstered pistol during a struggle, police said today.
Police spokesman Bill Toohey said the suspect was shot by Officer Ruth of the Essex Precinct, who has been with the department since December 2005. According to its contract with the Fraternal Order of Police, the department can identify officers involved in shootings only by their last names, Toohey said.
According to Toohey, Ruth chased Fidel S. Gikori, 25, of Perry Hall after an armed robbery Dec. 31 at the Rite Aid pharmacy on Back River Neck Road in Essex and caught up with him in a back yard of a house on Williams Avenue about two blocks from the store. A struggle ensued, and the suspect, who had dropped his handgun, tried to take the officer’s pistol from a holster, Toohey said. The officer drew his pistol and shot Gikori twice, he said.
Gikori, of the first block of W. Orange Court, died at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
An undisclosed amount of money taken from the drug store in the robbery was recovered, Toohey said.
Ruth, who had been placed on administrative duty, as is routine in police-involved shootings, has returned to full-duty status, Toohey said.
The department and the State’s Attorney’s Office will continue to review the shooting, he said.
By Brent Jones | [email protected] January 1, 2009
The unidentified man died after he was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, police spokesman Bill Toohey said.
Police say the incident unfolded about 8 a.m. when the man held up a Rite Aid pharmacy at 140 Back River Neck Road. Toohey said the man followed employees into the store as it was opening and demanded money. During the robbery, an employee fled and called 911, police said.
Officers arrived and chased the suspect about two blocks to the 1500 block of Williams Ave., where a confrontation between the armed man and officers occurred, Toohey said. The man was shot in a backyard of a two-story brick rowhouse.
Billy Bishop, a resident of the house, said he heard the gunfire.
Bishop said he was in an upstairs room with his family when he heard two gunshots. He said he ran over to a window and could see the man’s body and the officer standing over him. Bishop said he then went outside to see what was happening.
“There was blood all over the place,” he said. “They tried to give the guy CPR and took him away in an ambulance. They yelled at me to go in. I got yelled at like four times.”
Tia Alexander, who lives two doors from the crime scene, said she was lying in bed when she heard a commotion and an officer yelling into a walkie-talkie. She awakened her husband, who went to the window and saw the officer shoot the victim, Alexander said. He was taken to police headquarters to give a statement.
Alexander said she heard the officer yell “shots fired” over his police radio just before the shooting.
Police did not release the identification of the officer. A weapon was recovered from the suspect, police said.
Yesterday’s incident was the second police-involved shooting in that neighborhood in two years. In January 2007, police fatally shot a man off Back River Neck Road after he led them on a chase, crashed his car and shot at pursuing officers.
Sun reporter Richard Irwin contributed to this article.