Two officers were dispatched to a home in the 3500 block of Elmora Avenue after a report of a "mental case" there — a man disrupting a children's gathering. Det. Donny Moses, a police spokesman, said the man attacked them without warning. After one of the officers fell into a glass table, injuring himself, the man attempted to grab the policeman's gun, Moses said.
The department did not name that officer but described him as a 22-year-old who joined the force almost two years ago and is assigned to the Northeast District patrol division. He was placed on administrative duties, following the department's procedures after police-involved shootings.
The two-story brick house on Elmora Avenue is the residence of Marcella Holloman, 51, the victim's mother; he had lived there as well. On Sunday evening, Marcella Holloman's daughter, Margaret Holland, answered the door and said her mother did not want to speak to a reporter because she was too distraught.
Holland, 26, said she was present when the police were called Saturday because the gathering was a birthday celebration for her daughter who turned 6. She said four to six children, including a second daughter of hers, were in the backyard of the house around 4:30 p.m., eating ice cream and cake, when her brother came home. She explained that her mother invited the children to come to her house after they had gone swimming, to mark her granddaughter's birthday.
Holland said her brother had a history of "mental episodes" or "issues" involving anger, and that he had an episode Saturday, prompting her mother to call the police around 5:17 p.m. She said she did not know what triggered the episode.
Holland said the children were no longer present when the two police officers entered the living room, where her brother was shot. She said she was aware of three shots fired and that her brother was hit more than once. She said she was not aware of an officer falling into a glass table.
Moses confirmed that multiple shots were fired. He said one officer was sent to the Shock Trauma with lacerations suffered from falling into the table.
Holland said her "big brother" was a Baltimore native who attended public schools in the city. He was single and was a cook by profession, although he was unemployed at the time of the shooting.
She said he went by the last name of Johnson, not Holloman. Moses noted that both names for the man come up in the Maryland Judiciary Case Search database.
Holland said her brother's mental condition never previously led to a confrontation that involved a shooting, and that the entire family was grieving.
"This is the first time that something happened to this extent," she said.
She believes that the shooting could have been avoided.
"I don't think gunplay was necessary at all," she said. "They killed somebody. Somebody's child. Somebody's family member."
She questioned whether the 22-year-old officer who fired the shots was competent to address her brother's mental condition. She said her mother disclosed that her son had mental problems when she called the police on Saturday.
"He's 22 and he's only been on the force for two years," she said of the unnamed officer.
Moses said an autopsy was being completed as part of the department's investigation. Funeral were incomplete, Holland said.
"My mother's son just died. My brother just died. That was her first child," Holland said. "None of these events should have led to him being shot and killed."