The tranquillity of a white Christmas in Carroll County was marred Tuesday evening with a fatal shooting in Taneytown involving a police officer.
Maryland State Police confirmed that a Taneytown police officer had shot and killed a man who, according to police, had threatened officers with a hammer.
Edward L. Becker Jr., 26, of the unit block of Commerce Drive, Taneytown, was pronounced dead at the Carroll Hospital Center as a result of the incident, according to state police spokesman Greg Shipley.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Dec. 25, Becker's parents called 911 and reported that Becker was smashing the windows of his truck with a hammer, according to a state police press release.
Three Taneytown police officers responded and "saw Becker walking down the street toward them," according to the release.
The officers commanded Becker to drop the hammer and surrender, but he continued to approach, police said.
The officers positioned themselves behind their police cars, according to the report.
When Becker came within approximately an arm's length of an officer and raised the hammer, one of the officers shot him, according to police.
Police at the scene administered first aid and called emergency medical personnel to the scene.
The Taneytown police officer who shot the man was not identified by police.
He has been placed on administrate leave, which is standard procedure in such incidents, police said.
Taneytown Police Chief William Tyler requested that Maryland State Police investigate the incident, and troopers from the Westminster Barrack responded to the scene.
The investigation is continuing. Upon completion, it will be forwarded to the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office for review.