Authorities from Baltimore and Howard counties entered a Reisterstown home using a "no-knock" warrant before a resident attacked an officer with a sword last year, according to newly released police records. An officer fought back, fatally shooting the man.
Police say such warrants, which allow officers to enter a home without announcing their presence, are necessary when dealing with high-risk subjects. But critics argued at the time that such cases illustrate the danger of taking residents by surprise.
Police would not say after the Reisterstown raid last July whether they had used the tactic, which made it difficult to interpret the circumstances of the fatal encounter.
Investigators were searching for suspects in an attempted murder in Marriottsville when the officer shot Ronald M. Cox at his home on Highmeadow Road.
After the shooting, The Baltimore Sun asked authorities about the warrant. Police said Cox was not the subject of the warrant, and they arrested the two suspects during the raid.
A Baltimore County police spokeswoman said police repeatedly identified themselves as officers and that their uniforms also identified them.
Because the warrant was executed in Baltimore County, officers there took the lead in the raid. But the department deferred the release of information to Howard County, which had requested the warrant.
Howard officials said they could not describe the warrant because it was under court seal. The information did not become available until this month, when Baltimore County police released it through a Maryland Public Information Act request.