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Reno Joseph Owens Jr, 39
Baltimore, Maryland
March 24, 2017

Agencies: Baltimore Police Department Maryland

Last updated: 11 months ago

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Family members called police to the home in the 1000 block of N. Fulton Avenue, in the city's Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, about 6:45 a.m. after the man started "acting erratically," Smith said.

The family told police they believed the man was on drugs, and he appeared "highly agitated" to responding patrol officers as he brandished a knife toward a 4-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy, Smith said. The patrol officers declared a barricade situation and called in the SWAT team for backup, Smith said.

Negotiations with the man lasted about an hour before a SWAT officer, fearing the children would be injured, shot the man "as a last resort," Smith said.

"Out of fear for the absolute safety of those children who had a knife in close proximity to them, on their bodies, being pointed at their bodies, officers were forced to fire a round," Smith said. "Deadly force had to be used. This was not a scenario where less lethal [force] was an option, because if it didn't go right, we could be standing here talking about an injured or deceased 4- or 1-year-old."