A man who was shot to death by a police officer in Northwest Baltimore on Sunday was holding a "true-to-life replica gun" at the time, police said Tuesday.

The officer, identified as Dean McFadden, 44, heard shots and arrived at the 5000 block of Beaufort Ave. to find two men shooting at each other in the street, police said. He got out of his car and shot one of the suspects, Eric Harris, 30, who was taken to a hospital and later died.

The other suspect ran away and has not been found. No suspect description has been released except his gender.

Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said Sunday that detectives found bullet casings on the street from both suspects' firearms.

Police spokesman Lt. Eric Kowalczyk did not say whether Harris had a weapon in addition to the fake gun or where the casings on the street came from, pending the ongoing investigation.

"We're trying to weave the delicate balance of putting out as much information as we can, while preserving the integrity of the investigation," Kowalczyk said.

The incident was the city's eighth police-involved shooting and the second fatal one this year.

Police didn't know why the two men were firing at each other. Rodriguez, who oversees the department's Bureau of Professional Standards, said Sunday they appeared to have had a "personal beef," but the exact details were unclear.

McFadden was placed on administrative duties, and the incident is being investigated by the Homicide unit as well as the Bureau of Professional Standards. Anyone with information may call 410-396-2100.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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