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Donte Bennett, 25
Baltimore, Maryland
September 04, 2013

Agencies: Baltimore Police Department Maryland

Last updated: 11 months ago

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Baltimore police identified the 25-year-old man Thursday who was fatally shot by officers in a Southeast Baltimore housing project, as people who said they saw the incident continued to question the decision to shoot.

The shooting occurred just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, when police said they pursued Donte Bennett through a courtyard of Douglass Homes and past a playground, fighting with him before he took out a handgun and was shot.

“This individual, while armed, fought with clearly identified officers and at one point armed himself in what resulted in an officer-involved shooting,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez.

A picture shows Bennett lying on the ground, holding a cell phone with what appears to be a gun nearby.

But witnesses in the Douglas Homes community tell a very different story about what happened.

“He was holding onto the gate for dear life. I don’t think they had to shoot him,” said witness Tyesha Teal.

The shooting happened outside Dante Richardson’s apartment.

“I heard the one officer that wasn’t holding him say, `If you don’t put the gun down, we’re going to shoot you,’ and right after that is when the shots went off,” Richardson said.

Police have now identified the three officers who fired–two of which had previously used their firearms in the line of duty. Those officers are Officer Peter Iacovo, Officer Joseph Wiczulis and Officer Kyle Gaskin.

“I’m sick and tired of these police going out here, shooting people and killing them,” Yvette Bennett said.

She says she just wants the truth.

“No, I’m not taking this lying down. I’m tired of it,” she said.

She plans to file a civil suit against city police.