Police: Officer fatally shoots armed man in East Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) — Two shootings in the streets of Baltimore just before Maryland’s stay-at-home directive took effect led to the fatal shooting of an armed man by a police officer.

A report in The Baltimore Sun said the officer has shot and killed four other people in the past 10 years.

The department’s gunfire detection system alerted to shots being fired around 6 p.m. Monday in East Baltimore, Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a news conference.

Responding officers encountered an armed man who they believed had been firing a weapon at a group of people who were accused of wounding another man earlier that evening, according to Harrison.

“This all stems from an argument that turned bad where one person was shot,” Harrison said, according to The Sun. The suspect “was running down the street firing at that group.”

An officer shot him, and the man later died at a hospital, the commissioner said. Police had not released the man’s identity Tuesday evening, and a department spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

According to The Sun, the officer’s attorney identified the officer as Sgt. Joe Wiczulis. Wiczulis was involved in shootings in 2010, 2013, and 2016, the latter involving 56 rounds being fired that killed a father and son. In all five shootings, police said Wiczulis and other officers came upon a suspect who was carrying a gun. In the previous instances, prosecutors cleared him of criminal wrongdoing each time.

Police said Wiczulis was not wounded in the latest shooting, and an internal investigation was opened. The man wounded in the first shooting was in “stable condition,” Harrison said.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s stay-at-home directive in response to the coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 8 p.m. on Monday, mandating that residents leave their homes only for “essential and necessary things.”

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