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News Maryland Baltimore Crime Beat

Police identify officers involved in fatal shooting of 25-year-old suspect

Two of the three Baltimore police officers involved in a shooting earlier this week that left a 25-year-old suspect dead had previously used their firearms in the line of duty.

Officer Joseph M. Wiczulis, 32, responded with gunfire in March 2010 during an incident in which a suspect had shot two officers, police said. Officer Kyle E. Gaskin, 26, fired his gun at a suspect in October 2009 as the suspect dragged him from a moving vehicle. The suspect in that incident was not shot.

The third officer who took part in the shooting this week, Peter Maxwell Iacovo, 23, had no prior police-involved shootings, according to authorities.

The officers responded Wednesday to the Douglass Homes housing project in Southeast Baltimore where they pursued Donte Bennett through a courtyard and past a playground before he took out a handgun and was shot. Witnesses questioned the officers' decision to shoot the suspect and Bennett's mother called for an independent investigation.

Bennett, a Northwest Baltimore man, was being sought after a warrant was issued for a probation violation on a drug conviction, according to court records. Bennett had also been convicted of car theft and weapon violations.

Police officials have expressed confidence in the officers' decisions to shoot Bennett.

Both Wiczulis and Gaskin were hired in 2007. Iacovo was hired in April 2011.

Gaskin was recognized in January 2010 for helping to deliver a baby breached in the mother's birth canal. He was one of three officers who assisted in the childbirth in a second-floor bathroom in West Baltimore.

ywenger@baltsun.com

twitter.com/yvonnewenger

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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