Just months since the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore, news of a police shooting of an unarmed Black man in the city’s suburbs emerged. Police in Baltimore County say they’re launching an investigation into the shooting death of a 41-year-old man who was gunned down in a hail of at least 19 bullets according to reports.
As reported by The Baltimore Sun, officers responded to a domestic disturbance call at an Owings Mills residence last Thursday. Spencer Lee McCain, the man who was shot, was thought to be armed when three police officers arrived at the scene around 1:00 AM ET. The officers went inside the apartment home, which had been a site where several similar calls had been placed. McCain died from his wounds later that morning.
From the Sun:
On Thursday, Johnson said, the first officer heard screams for help coming from the home. Three officers, “fearing that someone was in imminent danger of injury or death,” forced their way into the home, he said.
As the officers went inside, Johnson said, they encountered a man in a “defensive position” making movements that led officers to believe he had a weapon.
The man was later identified as McCain, Johnson said. He would not elaborate on the man’s actions or why police believed he was armed.
All three officers fired at the man and hit him several times, Johnson said. Nineteen shell casings were found on the floor in the area where the officers shot the man, police said.
Baltimore County police provided the last names of the officers, which was the most they could do under union rules. Officers Jonathan Besaw, Shannon Stargel, and Shenell Wilkes are reportedly the officers who took down McCain.
A woman, Shannon Sulton, and two children were present during the incident. Shulton was injured but reports did not state to what extent. McCain was under a protective order to stay away from Shulton. According to the Sun, Sulton appeared to be beaten by McCain.