"His behavior was just erratic," Hopkins said.

Hopkins also said Monday that prior to the shooting Saturday night, Mr. Beckman was seen acting aggressively at Planet Fitness in the Rock Spring Shopping Center on Route 24, where he damaged a sign, before moving to the Bynum 7-Eleven, where he was destroying merchandise and cold-cocked a customer, who it turned out Mr. Beckman knew.

Then he allegedly crossed the street to the BP gas station's convenience store and was acting up there and finally allegedly broke into the snowball stand.

"His behavior was overt and aggressive," Hopkins said, which is in concert with what a friend of Mr. Beckman's said later that night.

Eric Dupree of the Bel Air area said he had seen him briefly prior to the shooting and that Mr. Beckman had appeared "aloof and confused."

Hopkins had said Saturday there was an "altercation" of some sort between Mr. Beckman and Feeney, whose gun was drawn because he suspected someone was inside the snowball stand.

"As the deputy arrived he observed the subject was inside the snowball stand and ordered the suspect to come out," Hopkins wrote. "During the encounter shots were fired at the suspect seriously wounding him."

Police and paramedics treated Mr. Beckman at the scene then transported him by ambulance to Red Pump Elementary School about a mile away, where a medevac helicopter flew him to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. Sunday, Hopkins said, and the body was sent to the Office of the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

Glenn Beckman said he and his wife, Linda, learned of the shooting after receiving a call from one of their son's friends Saturday night.

He said his wife rushed out of the house, and he was about "10 minutes behind" her.

Beckman said his wife had crossed the police lines around the BP station lot, and was able to recognize their son by his shoes before officers escorted her behind the line.

"We pretty much realized it most likely was Seth," he said.

He said he and his wife were able to make a positive identification at Shock Trauma, first by describing surgical scars on his back and knees to an investigator, and later when he saw his son's body.

Saturday's shooting was the fourth involving a police officer in Harford dating back to last fall, but the only one that has been fatal. Most recently, on July 29, an Aberdeen Police Department officer shot and wounded a 34-year-old man who police said displayed a handgun when he was confronted outside a motel in the city. The person who was shot remains jailed awaiting trial on first-degree assault and related charges, according to court records.

Back to business

At the snowball stand Sunday afternoon, owner Castronova said that when he was finally allowed by police to access his business, he found an estimated $1,000 damage, including to the screen door and door frame, as well as spilled flavored syrup and marshmallow fluff.

He said customers waited while the mess was cleaned up and the damaged door frame repaired.

"All day long, people have been coming up, wishing us well, making sure we're OK, so it's nice to know your customers think that much of you," Castronova said.

Darlene Zengel, of Bel Air, and Sebrina Ripple, of Forest Hill, were among the customers who purchased snowballs while Castronova was interviewed.

The gas station and convenience store were also open Sunday, and multiple vehicles were at the gas pumps. The yellow crime scene tape that had ringed the parking lot earlier was gone, as were the police cars.