Man found shot in Catonsville High parking lot

By Sara Toth,
5:09 PM EDT, September 12, 2012

A police-involved shooting in Catonsville Wednesday morning sent one man to the hospital, and will likely result in an officer being placed on administrative leave, Baltimore County police said.

A scene that ultimately ended in the upper parking lot of Catonsville High School on Bloomsbury Avenue started in downtown Catonsville, when an officer patrolling the area of the 700 block of Frederick Road around 11:35 a.m. observed a suspicious man behind the wheel of a white Toyota Rav4, said Ofc. Shawn Vinson, a spokesman for county police.

When the officer checked on the status of the car, he learned the Toyota had been reported as stolen in Carroll County.

When the officer approached the car, the driver tried to drive away, Vinson said.

The man “moved the vehicle in the direction of ” the officer, according to Vinson.

“The officer, fearing for his life, fired his service weapon,” Vinson said. “We’re not sure how many times it was fired yet, but at least one time.”

The suspect drove away, Vinson said, and the officer called for backup.

The car was found a short time later near Catonsville High, in the upper lot off Hilltop Road near Comet Stadium and the Lurman Woodland Theatre.

According to The Baltimore Sun, while there was no lockdown at Catonsville High, students in outside classes were brought indoors.

Vinson said the driver had a gunshot wound to the upper body and was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The man’s condition is not known at this time, but police do not believe the injuries are life-threatening, Vinson said.

The investigation is continuing, Vinson said Wednesday afternoon, and the man will not be identified until charges are filed.

Vinson said it is police department policy to not release information regarding an officer involved in a shooting for 24 hours after the incident, but he expected the officer to be placed on routine administrative leave, with pay, pending the investigation.

Witnesses in the area behind Morsberger’s Tavern at 713 Frederick Road — where the shooting took place — said they heard two shots fired, and the squeal of tires as the suspect tried to flee.

“I saw the officer stand in front of the man’s vehicle, and then I went inside and that quick, I heard a car speed off and shots fired,” said Dale Brashear, a patron at Morsberger’s. “From what I can tell, (the suspect) probably tried to run the cop over.”

Catonsville is usually “pretty quiet,” said Jeff Bennett, an employee at Catonsville Auto Parts next door, so he was surprised at Wednesday morning’s events.

He said he heard, but didn’t see, what happened, so he was “still trying to figure out what’s going on.”

Bob Morsberger, owner of the tavern, said the area was “a wonderful neighborhood.

“This is just something that happens,” he said.

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