BALTIMORE — Two police officers assigned to the U.S. Marshals task force were shot and wounded Wednesday in Northeast Baltimore while trying to arrest a former corrections officer wanted for attempted murder in Pennsylvania.
The man, identified by two state law enforcement officials as Michael Marullo, was shot and killed. The two were not authorized to speak to the media.
Police said they found a gun on the man.
Court records show that on Tuesday evening Chester Pennsylvania police charged Marullo, 33, with attempted homicide, illegal possession of a handgun and reckless endangerment. He was not apprehended and police issued a warrant, the records show.
Marullo, a former Maryland correctional officer, had been acquitted of assault on an ex-girlfriend in Baltimore city courts just a week ago, according to Maryland court records. His attorney, Thomas Maronick, said Wednesday that Marullo and the woman filed assault complaints against each other, but then pleaded their fifth amendment rights and refused to testify.
A judge issued a judgment acquitting him, the records show.
Law enforcement officers were searching for him when they encountered him on Radecke Avenue around noon, police said. The officers were shot, although police have not said whether the suspect fired any shots.
“Our worst fears became a reality,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said outside the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where the officers were hospitalized.
One of the wounded officers required an emergency operation, said Dr. Thomas Scalea, the physician-in-chief. The other officers, he said, saved their colleague’s life by applying a tourniquet.
Gov. Larry Hogan had said the suspect was a former Maryland corrections officer.
Neighbors recounted a harrowing midday scene, with bursts of gunfire and officers flooding a courtyard of the Gardenvillage Apartments at the edge of the city.
Ashanta Johnson was stepping out of the shower when she heard it. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop.
She ran and looked out her third-floor window. They were shouting below. “All I remember them saying is, “Get down! Get down!’”
Through the pine trees, she saw officers yelling at someone in an apartment across the courtyard. She couldn’t see the suspect, just the officers at the front door with their guns drawn. One officer ran back to the car and grabbed a shield or bulletproof vest. She couldn’t tell for sure.
“They made it in the building and they told the guy to get down,” she said. “It was a lot of gunshots.”
Officers swarmed in from all directions, she said. Helicopters came buzzing overhead; the shooting had stopped.
When she stepped outside, she said, officers were pulling a white sheet over a figure in the grass.
Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said commanders have been able to speak with the two wounded officers at the hospital.
David Lutz, spokesman for the Marshals, said the two officers — one from Baltimore City, one from Baltimore County — served in the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. Marshals routinely deputize officers from local agencies, including the city and county, to help arrest fugitives. They were attempting to serve one such arrest warrant shortly after noon Wednesday at the apartments in the Frankford neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore.
Neighbor Sannovia Hill said she was startled by the sudden bursts of gunfire.
“I couldn’t see, but I could hear pretty clearly. It was like six to eight shots. Boom, boom, boom, boom. Then a pause,” she said.
Another neighbor, Kevin Johnson, said he came out after the gunshots ended and saw officers in tactical gear helping one of the wounded out. They held him up, supporting him. The man appeared to be struggling to walk, but he seemed conscious, Johnson said.
“It was like six of them. They hooked underneath his arms and carried him out,” he said.
Police wrapped yellow crime scene tape to close off the courtyard. A technician swept the ground with a metal detector. She wore white gloves and stopped to bend down at times and search through the grass. Another officer came and swept the grounds with a police dog on a leash. A small crowd of neighbors watched and filmed it all with their cellphones.
Detectives gathered around the white sheet on the ground. When one bent down to adjust the sheet, there was a glimpse of a red stain. A few feet away, propped against a tree, was a shield of the U.S. Marshals.
Meanwhile, officers and city leaders, including Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt, gathered at the hospital. They noted officers risk their lives every day in the streets of Baltimore.
“We ask Marylanders to join us in praying for the full and speedy recovery of the brave officers who were injured,” Hogan said in a statement.
The shooting comes just a week after two Anne Arundel County police detectives were injured in a shooting that led to a daylong manhunt. Police and prosecutors said Robert Mitchell Willis will be prosecuted for shootings, including one that occurred within the city limits.
Last year, three Baltimore officers were injured in shootings. Sgt. Bill Shiflett remains on medical leave after he was shot in an exchange with a gunman at a North Baltimore methadone clinic in July.
In August, Sgt. Isaac Carrington, was shot while off duty outside his Northeast Baltimore home in a robbery. Two men have since been charged in the attack.
The same month police pursued a man wanted for allegedly firing upon officers and attempting to strike them with a vehicle. Days later, the man, Tyrone Banks, was killed in a shootout with police. One officer was shot in the leg and a woman was also injured, possibly by gunfire or the resulting shrapnel after the exchange, police said.
(The Baltimore Sun’s McKenna Oxenden, Pamela Wood, Justin Fenton, Kevin Rector and Phillip Jackson contributed to this article.)
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