- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 6, 2004

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police offered a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man wanted in the ambush killing of an officer, Police Commissioner Kevin Clark announced last night.

Police are exploring the possibility that the suspect, Charles Bennett, has fled the city, possibly to the District or its suburbs, but they believe he may still be in Baltimore more than 48 hours after the fatal shooting of Officer Brian Winder.

“You have a suspect who knows the city well, has an extensive arrest record, so he’s a professional criminal,” Commissioner Clark said. “He runs in a crowd of professional criminals, so he’s using every resource in an attempt to stay a step ahead of us.”

Mayor Martin O’Malley and the City Council put up $20,000 of the reward money, and the local Fraternal Order of Police added $10,000, Commissioner Clark said.

“I have no doubt that Charles Bennett will be arrested,” the commissioner said.

Bennett, 33, has been arrested 13 times since 1987 for handgun and narcotics crimes. Police intend to charge him with first-degree murder.

Another suspect, Jermaine Gaines, 31, was charged Sunday with first-degree murder. Commissioner Clark declined to say yesterday who police believe pulled the trigger.

Officer Winder, 36, a 10-year veteran of the police force, was married and had three children.

According to police, Gaines and Bennett ambushed Officer Winder inside a west Baltimore liquor store Saturday night after the officer approached them seeking identification in connection with a 911 call. The caller had asked authorities to remove someone from the person’s residence, police said.

Bennett was believed to be armed, police said earlier.

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