Friday, May 2, 2008

Update On Shooting At Senior Complex

The Sun reports that the husband of the 62-year-old woman who was shot is upset with police.

Bobby Harris, a Columbia resident, lashed out at the actions police took against his wife, Pearl, calling the incident a "travesty of justice."

"She was only 105 pounds. ... She could have been subdued without a gunshot or any type of violence like that," he said. "Somebody in the building could have gotten hurt. ... It's something that needs to be and hopefully will be addressed."

The story also says that the officers involved were not carrying those Tasers that police recently received permission to use. The shooting occurred before a crisis team would arrive to try to defuse the situation.

Here's the official May 1 HoCo PD statement:

Howard County Police are continuing to investigate a police-involved shooting that occurred during a call for a mental subject in Columbia yesterday.

Last night, investigators interviewed officers, witnesses and Pearl Harris, the 62-year-old woman who was shot. Based on those statements and evidence at the scene, police have determined that Harris confronted Officer Matthew Mehrer, waving a large knife. A second officer, PFC Mark Baxter, ordered Harris to drop the knife, but she instead lunged at Mehrer with the weapon. Baxter fired his handgun once, striking Harris in the hip. She is expected to be released from Shock Trauma today.

The incident occurred yesterday after police were called by property managers to the 8600 block of Snowden River Parkway at around 4:20 p.m. for woman who was creating a disturbance.

After being released from Shock Trauma today, Harris will be transferred to a psychiatric facility for evaluation. Harris will not face criminal charges until any necessary treatment is complete.

Baxter and Mehrer are on administrative leave, which is the department’s policy when a police-involved shooting occurs. Baxter has been with the police department since 2001. Mehrer

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