Baltimore police fatally shot a man in West Baltimore Saturday after he slashed an officer who was investigating a burglary complaint, officials said.

The shooting occurred at about 12:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of W. Lexington St. Anthony Guglielmi, the department's chief spokesman, said officers received a 911 call for a possible burglary and encountered a man on the third floor of a vacant building.

He said the man lunged at the first officer, cutting him on the face. A second officer fired at the suspect multiple times. The suspect was pronounced dead a short time later, and the officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

A knife and a broken bottle were found at the scene, police said, and it was unclear which had been used as a weapon.

Neighbors clustered along the block said they believed the victim was a homeless veteran who was known to live in vacant buildings and had been at the address where the shooting occurred for months.

On a street where the words "Respect is free, disrespect is costly" were spray-painted on the sidewalk near where someone was shot earlier this month, each of the 11 residents interviewed said they were afraid to give their names to a reporter.

"He knows everyone around here and looked out for everybody," said one woman.

Guglielmi could not confirm the suspect's name. Police will not identify the officer who fired the shots for 48 hours, following agency policy. Homicide detectives were investigating the incident.

City police have shot 10 people this year, killing eight of them. Fourteen people were shot by police last year, only five fatally.

jfenton@baltsun.com


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