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Baltimore County officer shot last week leaves hospital while police still won’t explain apparent friendly fire incident

A Baltimore County Police officer shot last week while trying to arrest an attempted murder suspect was released from the hospital Tuesday. His doctor said he is doing well but has significant rehabilitation ahead.
A Baltimore County Police officer shot last week while trying to arrest an attempted murder suspect was released from the hospital Tuesday. His doctor said he is doing well but has significant rehabilitation ahead.(Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Sun)

The family of a man shot by police as they attempted to arrest him in Northeast Baltimore last week is demanding answers about what led officers to open fire, an attorney said.

“There are a lot of details that aren’t out. It’s very important that the full story come out," attorney Thomas Maronick said Tuesday. He previously represented Michael Marullo in an unrelated matter and said he has been retained by Marullo’s mother.

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Baltimore Police said in a statement Friday that officers recovered a gun at the scene that Marullo brandished at them but it was fully loaded and had not been fired. Two police officers — one from Baltimore, the other from Baltimore County — were shot and injured on Feb. 12 in what appears to be a friendly fire incident, though police have not provided additional information.

On Tuesday, Officer First Class Swinney — Baltimore County does not release the full names of its officers — was released from the hospital.

Swinney is in “great spirits,” Dr. Thomas Scalea said Tuesday, adding that the officer will “certainly have a fair bit of rehab in front of him." Swinney, who was shot in the abdomen and the leg, lost a “large amount of blood," and may not have survived if a tourniquet had not been applied, Scalea said.

Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said her agency is “incredibly grateful” for the work done by Scalea during the officer’s surgical procedures.

Baltimore Police officer Robert Adams, who was shot in the calf, was released from the hospital last week.

Neither Baltimore County or city police have provided any explanation for how two officers were shot when the suspect never fired his weapon. Baltimore Police spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge said Tuesday that the incident remains under investigation and declined to provide additional details.

It remains unclear how many officers fired outside the courtyard of the Gardenvillage Apartments at the edge of the city.

Local and federal officers assigned to the in the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force were attempting to arrest Marullo on a warrant from Pennsylvania where he was wanted for attempted murder. According to court documents, Marullo fired shots at the grandfather of his two children after a dispute over how Marullo was disciplining the kids.

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Maronick said the family “supports a full and complete investigation into what happened to Mr. Marullo,” including examining any possible body-worn camera footage from officers during the incident.

He mentioned a video distributed on social media that appears to show Marullo exiting the apartment and officers rushing toward him.

But Maronick said it remains unclear what happened, including whether Marullo was pointing a gun directly at the officers and what prompted them to fire.

“How was he brandishing it? Was he pointing it at the officers?” Maronick said. “I think there is a lot of questions here. We need to get the answers rather than accept that Mr. Marullo was aiming a firearm at this officers.”

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