Baltimore County police said that officers fatally shot a suicidal man who shined a flashlight and pointed a handgun at them in Parkville early yesterday, though the man's father said police told him the weapon his son had been holding was a pellet gun.
The dead man, identified as Adam Benjamin Rothstein, 24, of the 8600 block of David Ave. in Parkville had called Baltimore County's 911 emergency line shortly before 2 a.m. yesterday and told authorities that he had a gun and threatened to commit suicide, police said. County police officers found Rothstein walking in the 8700 block of Avondale Road near Parkville Middle School, a few blocks from his home, police said.
A news release issued by the county Police Department yesterday morning stated that officers spoke with Rothstein, who told them he was carrying a handgun and also had another gun and knives.
But the man's father, Richard Rothstein, said police told him yesterday that the handgun was a pellet gun.
County police representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to the Police Department's account, members of the hostage negotiation and tactical unit responded to the scene after officers initially found the man on Avondale Road.
Police said Rothstein made several demands and threatened that if they were not met, he would begin shooting at 3:30 a.m. Police did not disclose what those demands were.
At 3:29 a.m., police said, Rothstein began walking toward the officers, shined the flashlight at them and pointed his handgun at an officer. Two tactical officers each fired one shot at Rothstein.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said in the statement that detectives believe that Rothstein might have been "agitated over issues surrounding a recent job loss."
Rothstein's father said his son hadn't lost a job recently; rather, he said, his son had recently been rehired as a security guard and expected to start work this week. He said his son suffered from bipolar disorder.
"Adam has had issues his whole life, and there was some agitation" that led to the encounter with police, the father said. "I don't know the whole story."
"He won't hurt anybody," Richard Rothstein said of his son. "He just talks like he will."
He said police officers came to his house about 8 a.m. and told him about the incident. He said he became distraught and asked the officers to leave after about three minutes.
The names of the two officers who shot Rothstein were not released. County police described the officers as seven-year and 10-year veterans, and noted that they had been placed on administrative duties during the shooting investigation.