LOCHEARN, Md. (WJZ) ―
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Baltimore County police say an officer shot a 27-year-old Lochearn man inside his home during an altercation.
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A fiercely physical struggle between a Lochearn man and three police officers ends in gunfire.
Weijia Jiang reports there are new details about why police say lethal force was the "only option" to subdue the mentally disturbed victim.
Thursday evening, a stately home in Lochearn was the scene of a bizarre and violent fight involving three Baltimore County police officers.
Police say two of those men shot 27-year-old Odatei Mills multiple times.
"My son is in extremely critical condition. He might die," said Gerald Mills, the victim's father.
Now Gerald Mills tells WJZ he's hired a lawyer.
Though he did not reveal details Mills said justice for his son will surface.
Police say the officers had no choice but to shoot.
"He was coming on violently and fiercing and the usual techniques for subduing someone didn't work," said Baltimore County Police spokesman Bill Toohey.
Those techniques include physical force, pepper spray, police even tasered Mill twice.
The confrontation started when Mills called 911 to report an emergency at the house.
When officers got there he asked to be arrested, but ended up punching one officer.
Police say the episode became increasingly intense, increasingly violent. In fact they say at one point Mills threw a glass table at officers.
"Then he got on the porch and broke through the glass door to get in the house," Toohey said.
Police say Mills continued to attack though they have no motive.
Detectives believe Mills is mentally distrubed.
"He was comparing officers to aliens. There had been in the past at least two calls for service to that house because Mills was acting irrationally, once in 2007 and once in 2006," Toohey adds.
Court records show Mills was in court in 2005 for disturving the peace, obstructing and hindering.
Mills currently faces no charges for the Thursday brawl as he remains in critical condition at the hospital.
Police say a rigorous investigation will be launched to make sure the three officers involved reacted appropriately. For now they are all on administrative leave.
Police say Mills was the only person injured in the incident.
His family tells Eyewitness News the man suffers from bipolar disorder.
(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
POSTED: 8:29 am EDT May 15, 2009
UPDATED: 6:53 pm EDT May 15 , 2009
BALTIMORE COUNTY -- A Baltimore County man remained in critical condition Friday after he was shot multiple times by county police officers.
Officers responded to a home Thursday and said they were confronted by 27-year-old Odatei Mills, who had made the call to police, saying he needed help.
Police said Mills met the officers at the door and began talking incoherently, comparing the officers to aliens.
"He fell to the ground and asked them to arrest him. Then he jumped up and punched one of the officers in the face," said Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey.
"This was a long, intense and very violent confrontation. Officers tried everything they could to end it without using lethal force."
- Police Spokesman Bill Toohey
Police said they used a Taser on Mills, but it didn't stop him. His mother said police used the Taser on him three times.
In the ensuing struggle, Mills threw a glass patio table at the officers, who tried to pepper spray on him, Toohey said.
Police said Mills broke through a glass door. Toohey said they heard him rifle through a kitchen drawer and became concerned he may come after them with a knife.
"At this point, they are concerned because they didn't know if anyone else was in that house, who made that 911 call and whether there was someone else in there that was in danger," Toohey said.
The officers entered through a front door and found Mills in the dining room waving a heavy chair. Police ordered Mills to drop it, but he didn't and that's when two of the officers fired. Police said Mills continued to resist eve n after being put on a stretcher.
"This was a long, intense and very violent confrontation. Officers tried everything they could to end it without using lethal force," Toohey said.
Baltimore County police are promising a rigorous investigation
in the wake of Thursday's shooting of Odatei Mills.
The victim's family said he suffers from bi-polar disorder. They believe he was having a manic episode and called for help.
Mills' mom, who did not want to be identified, said she arrived home during the struggle and found her son's long dreadlocks inside on the floor. She said she believes he cut his hair during the manic episode.
Mills' father said his son was shot six times.
The family said police provoked Mills because they lacked the training to handle mental health emergencies.
The family belongs to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. Or ganization Executive Director Kate Farinholt told 11 News that Baltimore County police command understands the importance of specialized training but found that few take advantage of it once a year.
She recommended at least eight hours yearly so officers can recognized specific behaviors and be proficient at deescalating situations.
Officers said they had responded to the home at least twice in the past.
The two officers who fired the shots are on administrative leave, police told 11 News reporter David Collins.
Copyright 2009 by wbaltv.com. All rights reser
County Police Release Names Of Officers In Shooting
Monday, May 18, 2009
Baltimore County Police have released the names of two officers who shot a Lochearn man during a standoff at his home last week.
Officials say Officer S. Jacob, a three year veteran of the police department, and Officer J. McKnight, a five year veteran of the police department shot Odatei Mills last Thursday.
Police say that Mills was throwing furniture and other objects at the officers after they responded to a call at this home in the 3600-block of Forest Grove Avenue. Mills had claimed that "aliens were out to get him."
Mills remains hospitalized. The two officers are on administrative leave.
Baltimore County police have identified a 27-year-old
Lochearn man who was shot by two officers Thursday after he summoned police to
his home and then became violent and irrational, a spokesman for the department
The spokesman, Bill Toohey, said the man, Odatei Kwadwo Mills, was shot multiple times and was recovering Friday from surgery at Sinai Hospital, where he was under sedation. Mills has not yet been charged with an offense, Toohey said.
The county's 911 switchboard received a call about 4:30 p.m. Thursday saying there was an emergency, but the caller did not provide an address befo re hanging up. An operator traced the call to a house in the 3600 block of Forest Grove Ave., and two officers were sent there.
"Mr. Mills met them at the door," Toohey said. "He was making incoherent and irrational statements, and talking about aliens. He then fell on the ground on his back and asked the officers to arrest him."
Still outside the house, Mills was ordered to stand. At that point, Toohey said, "He jumped up and punched one of the officers in the face, so his partner hit him with a Tazer."
In the struggle that ensued, the officers tried to handcuff Mills but managed only to get the cuff on one of his wrists. "He continued to fight and was Tazered again," Toohey said. "He got up again and he pushed the officers away and ran to the side of the house, where there's a porch. He picked up a glass patio table and threw it at the officers. Then they used pepper spray -- that didn't work. They're doing everything possible to avoid using fatal force on this guy."
A third officer had arrived by that point. Mills broke through a glass door and went back inside the house. The two officers who had initially responded went back to the front door and entered a vestibule, from where they could hear Mills "going through a drawer in the kitchen," Toohey said.
By Luke Broadwater
Baltimore County police Thursday shot a man whom they say
was talking irrationally about “aliens” before assaulting several police
The incident began when two police officers were dispatched to a house the 3600 block of Forest Grove Avenue in Gwynn Oak for an emergency.
When police got to the front door, they were confronted by Odatei Kwadwo Mills, 27, who was making “incoherent, irrational statements about aliens,” police said.
Mills’ statements were then followed by what police called as an “escalating series of violent acts.” Police described the series of events this way:
Mills was on the ground making irrational statements, then stood up and punched one of the two officers. The second officer then struck Mills with a Taser, who fell to the ground but then got up and once more started fighting the officers. Officers again struck Mills with the Taser with no effect. A third officer then arrived at the scene.
Mills ran to a side porch of the house and police followed. The struggle continued there and officers used pepper spray in an unsuccessful attempt to subdue Mills. Mills then threw a glass patio table at the officers.
Mills then broke through a glass side door back into the house. Police went around to the front and followed Mills into the house.
The officers were concerned there was someone else inside who was in danger. They then heard Mills rummaging through a kitchen dr awer, perhaps to find a knife, they said.
Mills then suddenly appeared holding a wooden chair, threatening to throw it at the police. Officers ordered Mills to put the chair down, but when he did not, the first two officers on the scene fired their service weapons, according to police.
Police said Mills continued to resist. The officers then fired multiple shots and Mills fell to the floor.
Mills was taken to Sinai Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition as of late this afternoon, according to hospital staff.
“Based on preliminary information, it appears that the officers' actions were justified in what was a prolonged struggle with a particularly violent man — a struggle that steadily escalated,” said Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey in a statement. “However, as in all officer involved shootings in Baltimore County, there will be a rigorous investigation of the incident to determine if the officers did act appropriately. As is routine after a shooting, the two officers have been placed on administrative leave.”
The officers were unharmed in the struggle, police said.
Toohey said officers had been called to the house two previously for reports of Mills acting erratically. Court records show Mills was convicted of second-degree assault, a misdemeanor, in 1999 in Baltimore County; and fake drug distribution in 2002 in Ocean City.