Baltimore police say officers fatally shot a man who was holding a woman at knifepoint in a Broadway East home Sunday morning.
Monday night, police identified the man as Timothy Fleming, 49, of Baltimore.
At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said police shot and killed Fleming after he was seen holding a woman at knifepoint inside a home in the 1800 block of E. Lafayette Ave.
According to the commissioner, who said he reviewed the body-worn camera footage from one of the responding officers, police were called to the home at 10:39 a.m. for a report of a family disturbance.
Upon arriving, officers met with a person outside the home who said a man was inside the residence armed with a knife and holding their mother at knifepoint, Harrison said.
Harrison also said the person informed the officers there had been an incident the day before with the man involving a knife.
The officers then entered the open residence and went up to the second floor, where Harrison said they found three people in a hallway: the male suspect, Fleming, armed with the knife, the woman and another family member who ran out of the home upon the officers’ arrival.
Fleming was standing over the woman while armed with a knife, Harrison said, and officers “repeatedly” tried to de-escalate the situation.
The commissioner said the officers at the scene tried “admonishing the suspect many times to put the knife down and monitoring the suspect to allow them to help solve whatever problem they may have had,” but it was “to no avail.”
“At some point, after some time had passed, what we saw is this suspect grabbed the victim, apparently by her hair, and motioned as if he was going to stab her with a large knife that he had in his hand,” Harrison said.
Police said Monday two officers fired their guns, striking Fleming. The department did not identify the officers.
The commissioner said Fleming was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman was unharmed in the attack.
The department’s Special Investigations Response Team, housed in the department’s Public Integrity Bureau, will be reviewing the incident, and the department plans to release the body-worn camera footage to the public, Harrison said.
At the news conference, Mayor Brandon Scott commended the officers’ efforts, saying they did what they could to save the woman’s life. Harrison said earlier that Scott was among a group of people who had reviewed one officer’s body-worn camera footage of the incident.
“They did exactly what we want them to do: to try and preserve life at all costs,” Scott said.
He also called on the community to support the involved family, saying, “When you’re dealing with something like this, we need the whole city to wrap themselves around this family.”
Police statistics show that domestic violence has risen year-over-year as people were forced to work and spend more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Baltimore Police Department data shows there were 359 domestic aggravated assaults from January through March of this year, compared with 266 during that same period in 2020, a 35% increase.
Fleming is the second person shot by police in the neighborhood in the past four days. A man, who the department said struck an officer with his vehicle, was shot by police on the 2200 block of E. Biddle St. on Thursday. Both the suspect and the officer survived their injuries, police said.
Marcus Shannon, 50, said Fleming, the man shot by police Sunday, was his cousin.
”We grew up as little kids together, man,” Shannon said to Scott and Harrison as they walked away from the news conference about the shooting.
Harrison told Shannon the department intends to release body-worn camera footage from the incident, adding, “Everything that we just saw, you’re going to see.”
Shannon said Fleming was a hard worker who had a job as a roofer and was living with his girlfriend.
”Just to hear about them having a domestic dispute kind of took me [a]back,” said Shannon, a Baltimore County resident.
Recently, his cousin had mentioned dealing with some anxiety, Shannon said. The last time they saw each other, however, Shannon said he was in good spirits.
”We all stood right out there in front of his door, laughing and joking. I think I stood there with them about two hours,” Shannon said.
Standing near the scene, Shannon said he was upset to hear that officers could not defuse the situation before fatally shooting his cousin, who Shannon said was Black.
”White America can have a breakdown, but Black America can’t,” he said.
Pastor Louise McNeill was leading a service down the street from the scene Sunday morning. When she heard about the violence, she led her congregation in a prayer.
”Immediately we started praying,” McNeill said. “For her family, his family, the community. Everybody.”
McNeill said she’s hopeful the churches in the community will come together as part of the healing process.
”This is pain,” she said.
Baltimore Sun reporter McKenna Oxenden contributed to this article.