By Sophia Bates
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa R. Hyatt said today that officers “used the force that they believed necessary” when they fatally shot a knife-wielding man at Hunt Valley Towne Centre on Saturday.
In a statement released through the Baltimore County Police Department’s website, Hyatt said that while “any loss of life is unfortunate and tragic,” she was grateful that officers responded so quickly to stop the man as he randomly attacked shoppers with a folding knife.
“While we continue to review the circumstances that led to this situation, I want to again express my gratitude to the men and women of this department who acted swiftly and courageously to bring a quick resolution to this unpredictable incident,” Hyatt said. “We are appreciative of our local, state and federal partners for their outreach and assistance during and following this incident.”
Hyatt also gave her condolences to the five victims who police say were stabbed by the man, all of whom were treated at local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
“Members of the Baltimore County Fire Department rapidly rendered aid to victims,” Hyatt said. “I hope for a speedy recovery for the victims of this brazen attack.”
Police said the officers involved — Officer Wise of the Cockeysville Precinct and Officer Brocato of the Community Resources and Wellness Section — were placed on routine administrative leave. They added that Brocato has a prior police-involved shooting and Wise has none.
According to police, Jamaal Taylor, 31, of the 6000 block of Amberwood Road in Baltimore, began threatening people with a folding knife outside Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor and Beer at about 1:43 p.m. Saturday.
Police said three people were injured outside the liquor store during an altercation with the suspect, who then fled the scene. Two additional people were stabbed at Noodles and Company and Peet’s Coffee and Tea, police said.
Police said Taylor fled the shopping center and was eventually confronted by officers in the intersection of Shawan Road and McCormick Road.
Officers gave repeated commands to the suspect to drop the knife but he refused to comply, police said. Police said that the officers discharged their weapons when Taylor started to walk towards McCormick Road and approach occupied vehicles. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene following the shooting.
“Our officers used the force that they believed necessary, under the circumstances, to protect the citizens of Baltimore County. Any loss of life is unfortunate and tragic, and we recognize the trauma associated with this situation,” Hyatt said.
Police said that the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit detectives are continuing to search for witnesses and anyone who witnessed the events are asked to contact detectives at 410-307-2020.
Anyone that is experiencing an emotional response to the events can contact the Baltimore County Mobile Crisis Team directly at 410-887-7820 or the crisis hotline at 410-931-2214, police said.
This story was updated at 12:47 a.m. on Oct. 2 when police provided additional information.