Sus­pended Balto. Co. of­fi­cer found dead in Bel Air home

Baltimore Sun - - AROUND THE REGION -

A sus­pended Bal­ti­more County po­lice of­fi­cer was found dead in­side his Har­ford County home Mon­day af­ter call­ing po­lice and telling them he was sui­ci­dal, ac­cord­ing to the Har­ford County sher­iff’s of­fice. James Ward had been in­volved in a bar­ri­cade sit­u­a­tion in April at the same house in the 2000 block of Strat­ton Drive in Bel Air. In that in­ci­dent, Har­ford deputies shot and wounded him af­ter they said Ward fired shots at them. On Mon­day, Ward called 911 around 1:30 a.m. Deputies re­sponded and were un­able to make con­tact with Ward. Har­ford of­fi­cials said they es­tab­lished a perimeter and moved to safe­guard nearby res­i­dents. Deputies were able to en­ter the home be­tween 6 and 6:30 a.m., and found Ward in­side, dead of an ap­par­ent self-in­flicted gun­shot wound, of­fi­cials said. Har­ford of­fi­cials said de­tec­tives would con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Ward was an of­fi­cer with the Bal­ti­more County Po­lice De­part­ment for 19 years. At the time of his death, he was sus­pended with­out pay in con­nec­tion with the April in­ci­dent. Bal­ti­more County Po­lice Chief James John­son said in a news re­lease that he was “greatly sad­dened to hear about one of our of­fi­cers tak­ing his own life. ... It is for­tu­nate that no one else was hurt.” The start of Pat­ter­son Mill mid­dle and high schools was de­layed three hours, po­lice said.

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