A Maryland State Trooper has apparently shot and killed a man in Fallston earlier today after responding to a dispute.
Reports to The Dagger indicate deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office were on the scene of the disturbance call in the 2700 block of Lakeland Drive.
Apparently the man, who is known by law enforcement, broke into the Fallston house early this morning, which precipitated the call to 911.
HCSO arrived slightly before MSP and the man started fighting with a responding deputy and reaching for his gun. Police used a Taser on the man twice before the MSP trooper opened fire – hitting him first in the chest and then in the forehead.
Responders then began to administer life saving measures on the man, but were not successful.
Reports indicate there was a significant amount of blood so all law enforcement at the scene had to go to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for blood testing. The HCSO deputies involved are on administrative leave and being tested for post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Here is the full Maryland State Police press release:
HARFORD COUNTY MAN FATALLY WOUNDED AFTER ASSAULTING THREE POLICE OFFICERS
(Fallston, MD) – A man who threatened relatives after breaking into their Harford County home early this morning was fatally wounded by a state trooper when he violently assaulted the three responding police officers and attempted to gain control of a deputy’s gun.
The deceased man is identified as John M. Abbate, 52, of the100-block of Fidely Drive, Fallston, Md. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body will be taken to the Office of the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
Shortly after 4:30 a.m. today, a Harford County 9-1-1 call was received from the home of Randall G. Willis, 51, in the 2700-block of Lakeland Drive, Fallston. Willis reported that Abbate, who was married to his sister, had broken into his house and was being violent. While police were on their way, Abbate allegedly threatened to kill Willis’ wife and said he could get a gun from his vehicle.
The preliminary investigation indicates two Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies and one state trooper from the Bel Air Barracks responded to the call. They confronted Abbate inside the home and ordered him to take his hand out of his pocket. Abbate, who was described as being about 6 feet tall and about 300 pounds, refused all commands from police and lunged at the deputies.
A violent struggle ensued that involved all three police officers. Deputies used a Taser twice, but it had no effect on Abbate, who reportedly pulled the Taser prongs from his body. The trooper used an expandable baton, which also had no effect.
When Abbate attempted to choke one of deputies, the trooper and second deputy both attempted to intervene. Abbate threw both police officers off and reportedly picked up the trooper and slammed him onto a computer table.
Abbate continued to assault the deputy and attempted to pull the deputy’s gun from its holster. In fear for the life of the deputy and the lives of all three officers if Abbate gained control of the gun, the trooper fired his Department issued Beretta Px4 Storm .40 caliber pistol. Abbate was fatally wounded.
Investigators have not verified a clear motive for Abbate’s actions at this time. Information has been obtained indicating he was having domestic problems.
The trooper is identified as Trooper First Class Sean Harris, 27, who is assigned to road patrol duties at the Bel Air Barracks. TFC Harris has been a trooper for 6.5 years.
He was transported to an area hospital where he was treated for injuries to his arms and legs. He was released and will be recuperating at home. TFC Harris will be on administrative leave, which is procedure after a police involved shooting.
One of the two deputies was also taken to an area hospital. He was treated for back and neck injuries.
The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is conducting the investigation. The State Police Internal Affairs Unit is also conducting an administrative investigation which is procedure in police-involved shootings.