Man armed with long gun fatally shot by Baltimore County police Thursday night

Baltimore County police fatally shot a man they said was armed with a long gun and threatened to harm himself and family members Thursday night in Overlea.

Officers were called at 10:43 p.m. to a home in the first block of Greenwood Ave., where a woman told police her estranged husband had been arguing with her throughout the day and was suicidal, the department said in a statement. When he pointed the rifle at one of the family members, she called police.


When officers arrived, police said, Kerry Lee Coomer, 59, came onto the porch holding a "powerful scoped rifle." One officer tried to talk to Coomer to "de-escalate the situation," while the second officer provided cover, police said.

The first officer told Coomer to put his hands up and step down from the porch, but police said Coomer refused.


As the officer spoke to Coomer, police said, Coomer "suddenly reached for the rifle and brought it up."

The officer speaking to Coomer then ran, while the second officer fired two shots, police said. Coomer was struck twice in the upper body. A medic declared Coomer dead at the scene.

The shooting is the first involving a county officer this year and the first under Chief Terry Sheridan.

Earlier this month, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced plans to replace longtime Chief Jim Johnson with Sheridan.

Johnson was expected to retire at the end of the month, but a police spokeswoman said Sheridan, 73, took over the department Wednesday. Sheridan, 73, previously served as county chief from 1996 until 2007.

The move came after criticism from several high-profile incidents, including the shooting of Korryn Gaines last year and the department's handling of sexual assault cases.

Gaines, 23, was fatally shot by an officer after an hours-long standoff Aug. 1 at her Randallstown apartment.

In other officer-involved shootings last year, two men were killed and a third was injured.


Tawon Boyd, 21, died three days after a Sept. 18 confrontation with police in Middle River. His death was ruled accidental by the medical examiner.

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County homicide detectives are investigating the latest shooting. The unit investigates all police-involved shootings.

When the investigation is completed, it will be reviewed by the Baltimore County state's attorney's office to determine whether any charges should be filed.

The unidentified officer who shot Coomer has been placed on administrative status while the shooting is reviewed.

Police said investigators are reviewing body camera footage from the officer who spoke with Coomer. The officer who fired at Coomer was not wearing a body camera.

The department began equipping officers with body cameras in July, and all are scheduled to have cameras by the end of September.