Baltimore Police give an update about the incident in which a Coppin State University police officer shot and killed a gunman firing upon a car at the edge of campus Tuesday evening. (Kevin Rector/Baltimore Sun video)
A year and a half has passed since a Coppin State University police officer shot and killed a teenage gunman at the edge of campus, and police — in a departure from routine — still haven’t offered up the officer’s name.
Their silence has resulted in continued speculation about the police shooting Dec. 13, 2016. The New York Times drew attention to the case this month in a five-part podcast that explored race and policing in Baltimore. Titled “Charm City,” the popular series centered on the death of Lavar “Nook” Douglas, 18, and his mother’s grief and quest for answers.
And yet, the officer’s identity remained unknown.
Investigative files obtained by The Baltimore Sun under a Public Information Act request identify him, for the first time, as Daniel Urbanowicz. The 29-year-old former Coppin State policeman did not return messages seeking comment.
Video released by Baltimore Police on Friday showed a Coppin State University police officer on routine patrol suddenly finding himself in the middle of a gun attack — and firing back — at a West Baltimore intersection on the edge of campus Tuesday evening.
A two-month investigation previously found him justified in opening fire, wrote Brian DeLeonardo, the Carroll County state’s attorney. His office served as outside investigators.
“The officer who discharged his weapon did so based upon a reasonable belief that Lavar Montray Douglas was an imminent danger of causing death or serious injury to the public,” DeLeonardo said in a statement last year.
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Shortly before 7 p.m. that Dec. 13, Douglas emerged from a car stopped at Windsor Avenue and North Warwick Avenue at the east edge of campus in West Baltimore. Surveillance video captured him running into the intersection, shooting wildly at a passing car, then running back.
Urbanowicz happened to be driving an unmarked car directly behind Douglas. When the shooter ran back past him, Urbanowicz stepped out and opened fire, investigators wrote.
“His quick and lawful action very well could have saved lives that day,” DeLeonardo said.
Prosecutors in Carroll County will lead the review of the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man in Baltimore by a Coppin State University police officer in December, after Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby determined her office had a "potential conflict of interest" in the case.