County police identify officers in Owings Mills shooting

Baltimore County police on Saturday identified three officers who fatally shot an unarmed man while responding to a domestic disturbance in Owings Mills.

Police said Officer Wilkes, a 6-year veteran, Officer Besaw, an eight-year veteran, Officer Stargel, a five-year veteran of the department fired at Spencer Lee McCain, 41 after responding to a disturbance call early Thursday. McCain was unarmed and later died from his injuries.


A police union agreement prevents Baltimore County from providing officers' first names. All three officers are assigned to the Franklin Precinct and have been placed on administrative duty. None have been involved in previous shootings, a department spokesman said.

Tony Fugett, president of the NAACP's Baltimore County branch, said on Saturday he is scheduled to meet with county police Chief Jim Johnson on Monday where he will receive updates on the shooting.

"We want to develop a timeline and procedures," Fugett said, "getting an up to the minute of what they know."

He said some NAACP members have asked why the officers used lethal force instead of first trying a Taser first, as they did in January when officers fatally shot Edward Donnell Bright Sr., 56, at a Randallstown 7-Eleven.

In that shooting, police said two officers saw Bright with a knife outside the store and ordered him to drop it. He refused and approached the officers, causing one to use a Taser on him, police said. When Bright did not stop, both officers shot him.

In the latest shooting, police said officers heard screams for help coming from the home in the 3000 block of Hunting Ridge Drive. Three officers, "fearing that someone was in imminent danger of injury or death," forced their way into the home, Police Chief Jim Johnson said at a news conference earlier this week. He said the officers believed he had a weapon and opened fire.

Police said officers have been called to the home 17 times since 2012, for 911 calls including reports of fighting.

The department's homicide unit is investigating the shooting. The homicide unit typically investigates all police-involved shooting in Baltimore County. After the police investigation is complete, the State's Attorney's Office will review the case to determine whether to issue charges.

The department said in a statement that the shooting will "undergo extensive internal review to determine compliance with departmental policy, rules and regulations."