Officer Calloway F. Hatcher, who critically wounded two fellow officers yesterday at city police headquarters before killing himself, may have planned the bloodshed, police say.
Hatcher, 56, had been suspended after his arrest this week on charges of sexually abusing a girl, now 10, for four years.
While he was in the Central District lockup Tuesday night being booked on the charges, he turned in his authorized personal revolver, instead of his .38-caliber service revolver as required, says Dennis Hill, a police spokesman.
"Officers went to his house [Tuesday night] seeking to get his revolver," Hill says. "His family said he kept it in a closet on the first floor.
"It wasn't there."
Hill says Hatcher then told officers to look in a basement closet, but again the gun wasn't there.
"That indicates he intentionally hid the gun from us," Hill says, "which indicates some premeditation on his part."
Police searched the house in the 1300 block of Stonewood Road.
Yesterday morning, Hatcher's service revolver was used to critically wound two of his superiors. Then he put the revolver in his mouth and shot himself.
Under department policy, an officer is suspended on arrest and must surrender his or her service revolver, Hill says.
As a result of the shootings, the Inspectional Services Division is conducting an "in-depth study of our procedures" in handling suspensions, Hill says.
Hatcher had been arrested in the police department mailroom in front of his colleagues.
After he was stripped of his badge, Hatcher was booked and released on his own recognizance.
One of the shooting victims, Maj. Peter C. Shaulis, 59, director of the Central Records Division and a 33-year veteran, remained in critical condition today at the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore. He was wounded above his right eye.
Police say the eyeglasses Shaulis was wearing apparently deflected the bullet enough to slow down its speed and possibly save his life.
Dr. Aizik Wolf, a Shock-Trauma neurosurgeon, says Shaulis underwent 10 hours of surgery. Bullet fragments were left in to avoid bothering sensitive tissues, Wolf says.
"I think his prognosis is good," he said yesterday, adding that complications could develop later.
Shaulis is married and the father of three children.
The other victim, Lt. Michael H. Waudby, 41, a 20-year veteran and central records supervisor, was wounded once in the chest. Waudby, married with two children, was in critical condition today at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He had part of his colon removed.
The shootings took place shortly after 9:30 a.m. after Hatcher, a 27-year veteran, appeared at the Fayette Street headquarters for a suspension hearing. Hill, describing the events yesterday, said Hatcher's superiors were to decide whether he should be suspended with or without pay.
Hatcher, who was wearing civilian clothes, showed the duty officer a plastic bag with his unloaded official service revolver and said he was there to turn it in. Bullets were in the bottom of the bag, Hill said.
The officer signed Hatcher in.
By the time Hatcher reached the fourth floor, he had loaded the gun, Hill said.
In a conference room outside Shaulis' office, Waudby asked for Hatcher's weapon.
Hatcher hung the revolver on the end of his finger and extended his arm as if to surrender it.
Suddenly, Hatcher flipped the revolver and pointed it at Waudby.
"OK, you don't have to do that," said Waudby. "We're your friends."
The next 20 seconds were bloody, according to a police reconstruction:
Hatcher fired once at close range. The bullet missed a retreating Waudby and struck a door.
Hatcher then went into Shaulis' office and stepped within 5 feet of the major's desk. He fired again, the bullet glancing off Shaulis' glasses and striking him above the right eye.
Hatcher went out the office through the conference room and into a small hallway where he saw Waudby. He fired down the hallway. The bullet ricocheted off a wall and struck Waudby in the chest as he sought cover in a secretary's office.
Two secretaries ducked behind a desk and were not injured.
Hatcher returned to the conference room and took his own life.
Hill said it appeared Waudby had unstrapped his holster but never pulled his gun. Shaulis may have been reaching for his weapon in a briefcase when he was hit, Hill said.
Sixty to 80 people were working in the central records, described by Hill as the busiest place in the building. Hill said several cool-headed officers helped keep order.
A tactical officer who had been showering in a second-floor locker room when the shooting began moved quickly to a hallway and directed people to safety.
"He was standing there badge in hand, in his boxer shorts, helping people leave the area," Hill said.
It remains unclear why Shaulis and Waudby were shot, Hill said.
"They had nothing to do with the investigation or his arrest," he said. "We have no idea why he did it."
Police said Shaulis and Waudby were to have participated in Hatcher's suspension hearing, along with Col. Joseph Newman, chief of the Service Operations Division.
The hearing was scheduled for a third-floor room and would have been presided over by Newman.
Shaulis was responsible for Hatcher's transfer last year from his former job in the basement evidence room to the mailroom in central records. It was a move that Hatcher appreciated, police said.
The shootings, the first in memory at police headquarters, sent shock waves through an agency accustomed to violence on the outside.
Friends said it was hard to imagine Hatcher, a congenial, popular and gregarious man, as the shooter.
Before becoming a police officer,Hatcher served almost three years in the Marines in the late 1950s. He received an honorable discharge.
During his career as a police officer, Hatcher earned two commendatory letters and a Bronze Star for helping to arrest an assault suspect.
"Believe me, there's not a soul in the building that did not know this man," Hill said. "Everybody liked the guy. It's quite obvious he had a problem and concealed it very well."
"This was the nicest guy in the world," a veteran homicide detective said. "I mean, shocking ain't the word."
Those sentiments were echoed yesterday afternoon in Hatcher's northeast Baltimore rowhouse neighborhood.
On the neat and quiet street where he lived for more than 20 years, Hatcher's neighbors said he was a family man. He enjoyed his work and enjoyed hunting deer, groundhogs, squirrels and rabbits.
He had three adult sons, one of whom is a police officer.
When friend and neighbor, Luther Jones, 58, a postal worker, learned of the shooting, he said, "Never in my wildest imagination did I think it was Hatch.
"It just doesn't seem like Hatch," Jones said.
Another friend, William Barnes, 53, a firefighter, said, "We were .. just talking about retiring together last week."
Meanwhile, not far away in the 1200 block of Sherwood Ave., where Shaulis lives, Carl Levine, 10, was concerned for the major's life.
Just Tuesday afternoon, Carl said, Shaulis had bought him a vanilla ice cream cone.
"He said he was treating me for being a nice, kind little boy," Carl said.