A SWAT officer fatally shot a man who was threatening two young children with a butcher knife in a Baltimore home, police said Friday.
A 39-year-old homeless man had spent the night with relatives at the house, but early Friday morning the family called police to report that he was holding a knife to the a 1-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl, police spokesman T.J. Smith said at a news conference. Smith said relatives told officers arriving at the home that the man was on drugs and had barricaded himself inside a bedroom with the children. Patrol officers who initially responded called in the SWAT team.
Officers demanded that the man drop the knife, but instead he threatened the children and held the knife to their bodies, Smith said. A SWAT officer fired at least once, killing the man, he said. The children weren’t injured.
“As a last resort, deadly force had to be used,” Smith said. “This was not a scenario where less lethal (force) was an option, because if it didn’t go right, we could be standing here talking about an injured or deceased 4- or 1-year-old.”
The officers involved were wearing body cameras and they were activated, but Smith said he didn’t know when the video might be released.
Smith didn’t release the names or races of the officer or the man. The officer, a 14-year veteran of the department, is on routine administrative duty, he said.