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Man shot by Baltimore officers during reported mental health crisis is charged with assault

Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in News & Features

BALTIMORE -- A 33-year-old man shot by Baltimore police officers responding to a call that he was having a behavioral crisis is being charged with first-degree assault for allegedly pointing a weapon at officers.

Ricky Walker Jr. remains hospitalized with injuries that police have previously described as critical.

The narrative laid out in the charging document obtained by The Baltimore Sun says the medics who responded with police decided to stay outside of the home citing safety concerns. A Fire Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request to corroborate that account.

Police have not yet released body camera footage of the incident that could corroborate the chain of events that led to the shooting.

Detectives wrote in the charging document that officers responded with medics around 3:30 a.m. on July 1 to the home on Falkirk Road, where Walker's mother-in-law said her daughter was in the basement with Walker trying to calm him down. She said Walker had been hospitalized a week prior for running around the neighborhood naked with a handgun, detectives wrote in charging documents, although The Sun could not confirm that account.

Inside, Walker's wife told Officers Eduardo Ortiz and another officer that Walker may be armed with a handgun. Walker told them he did not have any weapons, police wrote in charging document.

 

Detectives wrote that the officers spoke with Walker for 12 minutes "in an attempt to de-escalate and keep the defendant calm to get him medical attention in a safe manner."

They say Walker then pulled a semiautomatic handgun out of his shorts and pointed it with both hands at Ortiz.

"As a result of this imminent threat, Police Officer Ortiz and Police Officer (Avery) Torand discharged their service weapons, striking the defendant in his torso area and incapacitating him," detectives wrote.

Police wrote that they found a second handgun in Walker's shorts -- a revolver with three rounds in the chamber -- as well as an AK-47 assault rifle on the floor. Police said at a news conference last week that two guns had been found.

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