Hammer-wielding man fatally shot by officer in Maryland

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Naomi Jagoda,Law Enforcement

A Maryland man who was armed with a hammer was fatally shot by a Taneytown police officer on Christmas night, police said.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the parents of 26-year-old Edward L. Becker Jr. called 911 and reported that their son had been drinking and was acting disorderly. Becker's father told officials that his son was smashing windows out of his truck with a hammer, according to Maryland State Police.

Officers with the Taneytown Police Department went to the area near Becker's home in the Carroll County city about 65 miles from Washington. They saw Becker walking down the street with the hammer, and commanded him to drop it and surrender. When Becker continued approaching, the officers retreated down the street and positioned themselves behind their patrol cars.

The officers then continued to command Becker to drop the hammer, but Becker ignored the orders, came within an arms-length away from an officer and raised the hammer. That officer then fired his pistol, striking Becker in the upper torso, police said.

Becker was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The officer, a 4 1/2-year veteran of the Taneytown Police Department, has been placed on administrative leave, per standard procedure.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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