Police: Parkville man killed in shooting had empty gun; cop likely shot by another officer

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Photo via Baltimore County Police Department/Facebook

A Parkville man who was shot and killed by Baltimore County police on Thursday did not fire his gun at officers as police originally described, but he pointed it at officers and refused to follow orders to put it down, police said today.

Investigators later determined the man, identified as 76-year-old Robert Uhl Johnson, did not have any rounds in his gun.

That means that an officer who was shot, identified by the department as 13-and-a-half-year veteran Officer T. Hays, was struck by a bullet from the gun of another cop.

Police said they are correcting this “misinformation” after reviewing body-worn camera footage from the incident and locating additional evidence at the scene.

They also released additional details about the lead-up to the shooting, saying Johnson summoned authorities by saying there was someone with a gun at his home in the 3000 block of Linwood Avenue.

According to police, Johnson called 911 at 1:37 p.m. Thursday, “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.” He hung up when the call-taker tried to gather additional information, and did not answer multiple return calls.

Four officers were dispatched to the home, where they saw Johnson sitting in a chair facing the front door. One officer started to talk with Johnson, who refused to get out of his chair or leave the house.

Johnson told the officers he was the one to call 911 and nobody else was in the house.

Officers entered the home and told Johnson to put his hands in the air. As they did, he reached down with his right hand to pick up a handgun and point it at the officers.

“I’m sorry I have to do this,” he said.

According to police, Johnson “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.”

Johnson had left out his will and a list of requests for his funeral for officers to find, police said.

The department identified the other officers as 18-year veteran Officer First Class J. Hummel, 17-year veteran Officer First Class A. Burns and 10-year veteran Officer First Class J. Deford. None of the officers has a prior police-involved shooting on their record, according to police.

Peach said they would need additional forensic analysis to determine which officer shot Hays.

Hays was transported to Shock Trauma with a gunshot wound to her upper body. Police today said she’s in stable condition.

The department will consult with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office about releasing the body-worn camera footage, Peach said. Members of the department’s Homicide Unit will also send a completed case report to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]
Brandon Weigel


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