A man was shot and killed by a Taneytown police officer Tuesday night after police say the man threatened the officer with a hammer.
According to a Maryland State Police news release, at approximately 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25, the parents of Edward L. Becker, Jr., 26, of Commerce Drive in Taneytown called 911 to report Becker had been drinking and was acting disorderly. Police said Becker's father reported Becker was smashing windows out of his truck with a hammer.
Three Taneytown Police officers responded to the call and saw Becker walking down the street toward them, according to the news release. The officers exited their vehicles and began shouting commands to Becker to drop the hammer and surrender, police said. The officers, who were all in uniform and marked patrol cars, according to the news release, retreated down the street and positioned themselves behind their police cars.
Police said Becker failed to respond to police commands to drop the hammer and surrender. He approached to approximately within arm's length of an officer and raised the hammer at which time the officer, whose name has not been released, fired his department issued pistol, striking Becker in the upper torso, police said.
Becker was was pronounced dead at the Carroll Hospital Center.
The officer involved, a four-and-a-half year veteran of the Taneytown Police Department, has been placed on routine administrative leave, according to the news release.
Taneytown Police Chief William Tyler requested that the shooting be investigated by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit. Investigators from the Homicide Unit, the Westminster Barrack, and State Police crime scene technicians responded to the scene to process evidence and conduct the investigation.
The investigation is continuing. Upon completion, it will be forwarded to the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office for review, according to the news release.