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Baltimore Police officer who fatally shot a man Monday evening has four previous fatal shootings in his career

Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in News & Features

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Police officer who fatally shot a man in East Baltimore on Monday night has previously shot and killed four other people in the past decade.

The officer was identified by sources and his attorney as Sgt. Joe Wiczulis, who was involved in shootings in 2010, 2013, and 2016, the latter which involved 56 rounds being fired that killed a father and son.

A department spokesperson would not disclose the officer's name.

In all five shootings, police said Wiczulis and other officers came upon a suspect who was carrying a gun. In the previous instances, prosecutors cleared him of criminal wrongdoing each time.

"He's an outstanding officer who has been assigned to some of the most dangerous areas in Baltimore City, and every one of his shootings have been justified and have been reviewed extensively by the Baltimore city State's Attorney's Office," said Michael Davey, an attorney who works with the police union. "He's an active officer who gets involved in fighting crime, and these things happen."

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said officers were called at 6 p.m. Monday to North Chester Street in the Broadway East neighborhood by an alert from the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system and encountered an armed male who "at that time, we believe, had been firing that weapon in this block," Harrison said.

 

"This all stems from an argument that turned bad when one person was shot," Harrison said at a brief news conference at the East Baltimore scene hours after the shooting.

Davey said Tuesday that two other officers also fired, after Harrison said only one officer had discharged Monday. Police said they are investigating the shooting.

Reached Tuesday, Wiczulis declined to comment.

Wiczulis' most recent prior shooting occurred nearly four years ago to the day, on March 31, 2016. Wiczulis and Officer Norman Jones were in plainclothes with another officer in the 400 block of E. Lanvale St. when they saw Matthew V. Wood, 43, and Kimani Johnson, 18, drive into the block near a playground, and emerge from a vehicle holding weapons, police said.

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