Suspect killed in Towson liquor store robbery identified

A man shot and killed while allegedly attempting to rob a Towson liquor store has been identified.

Baltimore County police continued searching Tuesday for an accomplice to a man fatally shot by a Towson liquor store employee Monday during an attempted robbery

County police identified the man killed in the Towson Wines and Spirits incident as Claude Edward Mayo, 25, of Baltimore. Police said Mayo and another person entered the store shortly before 7 p.m., brandished weapons and announced a robbery.


Mayo allegedly aimed his handgun at a 68-year-old clerk. The clerk, who also pulled out a gun, shot Mayo multiple times, police said. Mayo collapsed outside the store and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Members of Mayo's family could not be reached for comment Tuesday.


Police had no detailed description of the other suspect, a male who fled the store.

The name of the clerk who shot Mayo was not released. Police said his handgun was legally purchased and registered to him.

County Councilman David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican, said he planned to talk with Towson business and community leaders about crime issues. He said police presence is strong in Towson and a Citizens on Patrol program has been expanded.

"I'm glad that the employees were not harmed," said Marks, who represents Towson. "I've always felt that an employee has a right to defend himself or herself when in imminent danger."

Police said employees were interviewed, and investigators are reviewing footage from surveillance cameras in the area, including images from the liquor store's camera. The store re-opened for business Tuesday, but employees declined to comment.

Prosecutors will review the police investigation when it's complete, State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said.

Meanwhile, city police said a separate incident Monday night in Canton also involved a liquor store employee firing a gun during an attempted commercial robbery.

In that case, two male employees of the House of Spirits on Fleet Street were outside the store about 11:30 p.m. with a woman when two men approached them, according to a police report. A man pointed a gun at one of the employees, and the woman gave him $20. Another man then grabbed car keys from the woman's jacket pocket, and he and the other suspect got into the vehicle, the report says.

One of the employees retrieved a gun from the store, pointed it at the suspects and said, "Don't move," according to the report. The suspects got out of the vehicle, and after a struggle a gun belonging to a suspect fell to the ground. The employee shot his gun in the air and the suspects fled on foot, police said. No suspects have been apprehended.

Messages left at House of Spirits were not returned Tuesday.

Baltimore County police spokesman Cpl. John Wachter said when it comes to gun ownership and confronting would-be robbers, "that's a choice that business owners have to make."

"Obviously, there's risk any time you fight back a robber or someone who wants to take from you," Wachter said. "People need to make the best choices for what their situation is, keeping safety in mind."


On Tuesday, just down the street from Towson Wines and Spirits, Lee Smith was busy filling lunch orders at his shop, Jupiter's Deli & Ice Cream. Smith was surprised to learn of Monday's incident, but said he's not worried about crime in the area.

"I was shocked, obviously, that someone lost their life," he said.

Rockville resident Tom Harvey said he was in Towson for a meeting Monday night and was walking down Pennsylvania Avenue when he heard multiple gun shots — one muffled shot and then three clearer shots.

Harvey has written blog posts about gun control issues for the Huffington Post and his own blog, and said he feels there are too many guns in society.

"I think the defense of people using guns encourages more of it," Harvey said.



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