Anne Arundel County police release names of officers involved in fatal shooting of Ferndale man

The Anne Arundel County Police Department released the names on Tuesday of the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Ferndale man.

Cpl. Jessica Hooper and Officer Gary Zawodny, both five-year veterans of the department, were serving one of Maryland’s new “red flag” protective orders to remove guns from a house in the 100 block of Linwood Ave. in Glen Burnie on Monday morning when police say the subject of the protective order, Gary J. Willis, answered the door holding a gun.

Police said Willis placed the gun next to the door. When officers began to serve Willis with the order, he became irate, opened the door and grabbed the gun, police said. An officer tried to take the gun away from Willis when Willis fired it. A second officer fired their service weapon, striking Willis, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neither officer was injured, police said.

Hooper and Zawodny are assigned to the bureau of patrol and have been placed on administrative leave under departmental policy, according to a news release.

Police also corrected Willis’ age on Tuesday. He was 61.

Details about the protective order filed against Willis were not available because they are confidential under the law, which took effect Oct. 1.

The “red flag” protective orders are officially known as emergency risk protection orders, and may be sought by family members, police or others to temporarily prohibit people’s access to firearms when they show signs that they are a danger to themselves or others.

After Willis’ death, some Maryland gun rights advocates called on Gov. Larry Hogan to suspend the “red flag” gun seizures. Citing substantive constitutional questions about the law, the Patriot Picket also urged state legislators to repeal it.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the homicide unit at 410-222-4731. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are asked to call the tip line at 410-222-4700.

richard.martin@baltsun.com

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