- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2005

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. — A police officer turned himself in yesterday in the fatal shootings of two Baltimore city officers, a man and a woman whose bodies were found in a suburban town house.

The suspect, an officer for the state Department of General Services, turned himself in shortly after 2 p.m. at the county police precinct in nearby Woodlawn about two hours after the shooting, county police spokesman Bill Toohey said.

The two city officers, both assigned to the midnight shift at the city’s Northwestern District, were shot shortly after noon.

Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence Sheridan identified the victims as Adam Vasquez, 26, a 4-year veteran, and Leslie Holiday, 34, who has been on the force for 1 years and was still on probationary status.

The suspect and the victims knew one another, Mr. Toohey said.

“This was not a random crime. The suspect knew the victims, so it was not something that people in the neighborhood need to worry about,” he said.

Officers found the suspect’s car and the handgun used in the shootings shortly after he surrendered. Each victim was shot multiple times, and the gun was not the suspect’s service weapon, Mr. Toohey said.

The suspect was still being questioned last night.

Chief Sheridan said the bodies were found on the second floor of the town house. He said there were no signs of forced entry, and that there were three other persons inside at the time of the shooting: an adult couple and a small child. Their relationship to Officer Vasquez was uncertain.

At the city’s Northwestern District precinct, officers were visibly upset, crying and talking among themselves. They declined to talk on the record with a reporter. Crisis counselors were brought in to talk with officers and a flag at the precinct was lowered to half-staff.

“The information I have on Officer Vasquez is that he was an outstanding officer … from Day One, since he walked into the academy,” city police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said at the crime scene.

“Our job now is to come together as a department and carry on the job that we have to do out on the street,” Commissioner Hamm said.

The state Department of General Services police provide security at the state office complexes in Baltimore and Annapolis. An agency spokesman declined to comment because the suspect had not been charged.

The town house, which is listed in Officer Vasquez’s name, is on a quiet, secluded court of about 15 well-kept two-story homes with stone facades — part of a small development in Baltimore’s northwest suburbs.

Neighbors said Officer Vasquez was friendly, but quiet, and could often be seen walking his small dog. Jerry McDonald, who lives next door, said Officer Vasquez was single and that his cousin, her husband and their two children had been living with him. Mr. McDonald said Officer Vasquez had been dating a female officer.

“He was a nice guy,” Mr. McDonald said.

Another neighbor, Kenneth Seerattan, said the officer was friendly to the children who lived on the street.

“When police officers die, no matter what the circumstances, it’s a sad thing, but especially around Christmastime,” he said.

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