20 06 2008

City police kill armed, mentally disabled man
 
June 18, 2008

by Carolyn Peirce, The Examiner

http://www.examiner.com/a-1446774~City_police_kill_armed__mentally_disabled_man.html?cid=temp-popular

Baltimore – A Baltimore City police officer shot and killed a 21-year-old developmentally disabled man Tuesday who refused to drop a handgun as he was struggling with the officer, according to police.

But the victim’s mother said police shot her son in the back as he was running away.

Bryant Worrell, 21, was shot multiple times after he failed to comply with orders, said police spokesman Troy Harris.

Worrell ran a block down an alley before collapsing in the 3100 block of East Lombard Street, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers had responded about 2:40 a.m. to a call for an aggravated assault in the unit block of South Robinson Street, near East Baltimore Street, Harris said.

Officers found Worrell “in the midst of a physical altercation” with another man, whose name was not released, Harris said.

Police broke up the argument and arrested the other man, but when an officer patted down Worrell’s clothing, he reached for a hidden handgun and refused orders to drop the weapon, Harris said.

“He began to fight with the officer physically,” Harris said.

“And the officer fired, striking him several times in the upper torso.”

But the account Worrell’s mother, Nancy Worrell, gave The Examiner’s partner WJZ-13 differed drastically from the Police Department’s version of events.

 Worrell said she called police after men came into her home and began beating up her son.

She said police shot at her son as he was running away from the officer.

“Then when he started searching him, he threw him on the car, held him by the neck and twisted one of his arms,” Nancy Worrell told WJZ-13.

“Then my son broke away and ran down the alley. The police just started shooting him in the back.”

Worrell had just graduated from Briscoe High School in West Baltimore, a school for developmentally disabled students. His mother told WJZ that her son was mentally disabled.

Worrell’s death marked the city’s 14th officer-involved shooting this year. Ten of the shootings were fatal.

cpeirce@baltimoreexaminer.com

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