Man charged in 10-year-old case after police run check on handgun


A stolen gun relinquished by a frightened wife led to a charge this week in a decade-old shooting that wounded an off-duty Baltimore County police officer.

Dwayne Carlos Woods, 34, serving a sentence at the Maryland House of Correction for sexual assault, was charged Thursday with attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery in the 1988 shooting of Joseph Burris, now a lieutenant in the Wilkens precinct.

Police said a woman, whose name was not made public, went to the Woodlawn precinct recently to turn in a gun that belonged to her estranged husband. Officers ran the serial number through computer records and got a match. It was Burris' gun.

Detectives interviewed the woman and her husband, and learned the husband had bought the gun a decade ago from Woods, not long after Burris was shot.

Burris was working a second job as a security officer at Westgate Motor Hotel in Catonsville on Nov. 6, 1988, when a man entered the motel about 1: 15 a.m., showed a pistol and announced a holdup. The man searched Burris for a weapon and found the officer's personal gun, a Smith & Wesson revolver. The men struggled, and Burris was shot in the face with his gun.

The robber fled with both guns and no money. Burris was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The bullet hit Burris between the eyes, he said, and remains lodged in his nose. Doctors decided that trying to remove the bullet would be too dangerous.

Pub Date: 5/02/98

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