- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 4, 2004

BALTIMORE — Police yesterday charged one man with first-degree murder and were searching for a second suspect in the death of a city police officer who was gunned down in the West Baltimore neighborhood where he was raised.

Police charged Jermaine Gaines, 31, in the killing of Officer Brian Winder. Gaines has five prior arrests, mostly for drugs, police said.

Authorities were seeking Charles Bennett, 33, who has been arrested 13 times dating back to 1987 on handgun and narcotics charges. Police Commissioner Kevin Clark said Bennett also would be charged with first-degree murder when police catch up with him.

Mr. Clark said the two men ambushed Officer Winder inside a liquor store after the officer approached them seeking identification in connection with a 911 call.

“The only thing between them and their freedom was that officer, and one of them elected to … execute that officer at the scene,” Mr. Clark said.

A 9 mm handgun was found, and Bennett was believed to be armed, Mr. Clark said.

Officer Winder, a 10-year veteran, was attacked at 9 p.m. Saturday, shortly after responding to a 911 call. The caller had asked authorities to remove someone from the person’s residence, police said.

When Officer Winder, 36, arrived, he was warned that one of the men might be armed.

When Officer Winder spotted two persons who fit the description, he called out to them, and they went into G&G; Village Liquors on Edmonston Avenue, police said.

Officer Winder called for backup, but in less than a minute shots were fired. Officer Edward Lane found Officer Winder on the ground and saw two persons fleeing, Mr. Clark said.

Officer Lane then fired at them. Gaines retreated back into the liquor store, but Bennett escaped, police said.

Gaines was not hit. Police were not sure whether Bennett had been shot, Mr. Clark said.

Officer Winder did not fire any shots, investigators said.

Mr. Clark asked that anyone who knew Bennett’s whereabouts to call authorities.

“Let’s get him off the streets, and let’s get him in the court system, and let’s see if we can put this man away for an extended period of time,” Mr. Clark said.

Officer Winder was married with three children. He was the seventh Baltimore police officer to die in the line of duty since 2000.

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