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Suspect Claims To Be Armed With Bomb, Brings Defective Gun To Gunfight With Police

Baltimore, MD – A suspect who repeatedly pointed a gun at police and claimed to be carrying a bomb was shot during a tense standoff Christmas Day.

The Baltimore Police Department (MPD) released over two hours of bodycam footage from the Dec. 25 incident on Friday.

Police said the series of events leading to the shooting began at 4:30 p.m., when 59-year-old Barron Coe called 911 and reported that his mother had accused him of trying to kill her, WMAR reported.

Officers responded to Coe’s Grove Park neighborhood residence, which is located in the 4100-block of Crawford Avenue, according to WJZ.

Bodycam footage showed that when Baltimore Police Officer Devon Galanos arrived at the home and spoke with Coe at the front door, Coe warned him he would need more help.

“You’re going to need backup,” he said “My mother says I’m trying to kill her.”

Officer Galanos attempted to speak with Coe and to convince him to exit the home, but the suspect insisted there was “going to be a situation” and reiterated the officer needed more backup, WJZ reported.

“I’ve got a problem with United States government,” Coe said at one point, while holding a bag.

The officer then asked him what was inside the bag, the video showed.

“It’s a bad situation,” Coe responded. “That’s why I’m telling you to call backup.”

The suspect allowed his sister to leave the home and escorted his disabled mother outside to safety, WJZ reported.

In addition to calling for backup, the officers also asked for someone from the department’s Crisis Intervention Team to come to the scene.

But the situation escalated more quickly than anyone from the team could respond, according to police.

Shortly before 5 p.m., Coe announced that he was armed, the video showed.

“I have a weapon. I have ammunition. I have knives. And I have an explosive,” he declared.

Officer Galanos confirmed he spotted a gun tucked into the suspect’s waistband and the officers repeatedly ordered Coe not to reach for it, WJZ reported.

They yelled at him to put the gun down just before the sound of gunfire erupted.

Bodycam footage showed the wounded suspect on the ground, at which point he raised his gun yet again, WJZ reported.

The officers again opened fire.

Coe was rushed to a hospital shock trauma unit, where he was continuing to recover Tuesday, WBAL reported.

He has been charged with firearm-related offenses, reckless endangerment, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, first-degree attempted murder, and second-degree attempted murder, among other offenses, according to WJZ.

Investigators initially said the suspect fired his gun at them during the encounter, but police later determined the gun Coe was carrying was missing a firing pin spring, Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Brian Nadeau told reporters.

There was also a round chambered in the firearm, according to police.

Investigators further determined Coe was carrying a box containing a power source, tubes, and wires, but it was devoid of any explosive material, WJZ reported.

A total of six officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, as per protocol.

Deputy Commissioner Nadeau said police had not been called to the residence prior to the Dec. 25 disturbance, according to WMAR.

Neighbors said they’ve been concerned about Coe for years and that he talked about allegedly being harassed and surveilled by the government in monthly Facebook Live videos, The Baltimore Sun reported.

He also frequently displayed signs about politics and religion on the front of his home, residents said.

The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has recently been working with Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. (BCRI) to help handle mental health-related calls, but the organization was not contacted during the Christmas Day encounter with Coe.

They said it would likely have been too dangerous of a situation for them to send any workers out, but that they would have been “willing to work closely with BPD regarding an appropriate response,” BCRI Executive Director Jonathan Davis told The Baltimore Sun.

Deputy Commissioner Nadeau noted that the entire incident unfolded quickly, WBAL reported.

“It’s easy after the event to look and see the timeframe. It’s hard when you’re there, I assure you. We interviewed [the officers] and they think that went by in two minutes. It goes very quick,” he said.

Coe’s mother said her family doesn’t approve of how police handled the situation, and that they are working to find legal counsel to discuss their options, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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