Taneytown male killed in police-involved shooting

Taneytown male killed in police-involved shooting
Police investigate the scene of a shooting on the unit block of Commerce street in Taneytown Tuesday night. (DAVE MUNCH/STAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

A Taneytown man was killed in a police-involved shooting after he raised a hammer within arm's length of a Taneytown Police Department officer Tuesday night, according to a Maryland State Police news release.

Edward L. Becker Jr., 26, of the unit block of Commerce Street, was pronounced dead shortly after he was transported to Carroll Hospital Center, the release states.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Becker's parents - whose son lived with them on Commerce Street, according to Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley - called 911 to report that Becker had been drinking, according to the release. He was acting disorderly and was smashing the windows of his father's blue pick-up truck with a hammer, the release states.

Three Taneytown Police Department officers responded to the scene. They exited their marked patrol vehicles and shouted at Becker to drop the hammer, the release states.

Becker approached the uniformed officers, according to the release. They retreated down the street to hide behind their patrol vehicles, according to the release, while continuing to shout at Becker to drop the hammer and surrender.

Becker did not listen, the release states. When he was in arm's length of one officer, he raised his hammer, according to the release.

Because he was in "fear for his life," the release states, the officer fired his pistol, striking Becker in the upper torso. He was the only officer to fire a shot, according to the release.

The officers treated him with emergency care at the scene. Becker was then transported to Carroll Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, the release states.

The name of the officer has not been released; he has been working at the Taneytown Police Department for more than four years. He has been placed on routine administrative leave, which is protocol for police-involved shootings, according to the release.

The Carroll County State's Attorney Office will review a report once the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit completes its investigation, according to Shipley.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, officials from the Westminster Barrack and State Police crime scene technicians responded to the scene, the release states.

The last police-involved shooting in Taneytown occurred July 8, 2009, according to Shipley.

A medical examiner will perform a toxicology screening on Becker, Shipley said.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the release.