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Hammer-wielding Md. man fatally shot by police on Christmas

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A 26-year-old man drunkenly wielding a hammer was fatally shot on Christmas by a police officer in Carroll County.

Edward L. Becker Jr., was "within arm's length of an officer" when he raised a hammer and was shot in the chest by a Taneytown police officer, according to a statement from the Maryland State Police.

The shooting happened at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday after Mr. Becker's parents called police to report their son "had been drinking and was acting disorderly," including smashing the windows of his truck out with a hammer.

Three police officers responded to the Taneytown home, and when they arrived they saw Mr. Becker walking down the street toward them, Maryland State Police said.

The officers retreated behind their police cars and shouted at Mr. Becker to drop the hammer.

Despite the officers' demands, Mr. Becker continued toward the officers. One of the officers, who has not been identified, fired his gun and struck Mr. Becker in the chest. Mr. Becker was taken to a hospital where he later died.

Police said the officer is a four-and-a-half-year veteran of the police department. He was placed on administrative leave, which is standard for police-involved shootings, the chief said.

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