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