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Police identify SWAT officer and suspect in fatal shooting Friday

Baltimore police on Saturday identified the officer who fatally shot a man allegedly threatening two young children with a butcher knife Friday in West Baltimore.

Officer Zachary Wein, a 14-year veteran of the agency assigned to the SWAT team, shot 39-year-old Reno Joseph Owens Jr., according to Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith.

Police had described Owens as a homeless relative of the family that lived at a home in the 1000 block of N. Fulton Ave., where he was allowed to sleep Thursday night. The family called police to their house Friday morning when he was brandishing a knife at a 4-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy, police said.

Police negotiated with Owens for about an hour, but police spokesman T.J. Smith said deadly force was used "out of fear for the absolute safety of those children." No one else was injured.

Police had said the officer who shot Owens was placed on routine administrative duty pending conclusion of the investigation. Smith has also said officers were wearing body cameras, but he did not know when footage would be released.

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan

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