Baltimore man told police he was armed and had explosives, warned of ‘major situation,’ video shows; he did not fire upon officers

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The man shot and wounded by Baltimore Police officers outside his home on Christmas Day told an arriving officer that he was armed, had explosives and warned there would be “a major situation,” according to police body camera footage released Tuesday.

Barron Coe, 59, remains hospitalized and faces criminal charges after police were called to his Northwest Baltimore home for a family dispute. Officers shot Coe after he claimed he had explosives and after officers saw him raise a gun, according to police and video footage.

Public Integrity Bureau Deputy Commissioner Brian Nadeau said Tuesday that Coe’s gun had a round in it but was missing a firing pin, meaning it could not shoot any bullets.

Initially, the department said Coe fired upon officers first.

Nadeau said Tuesday that was not accurate and said the information was based only on statements from officers at the scene and neighbors. After reviewing body-worn camera footage and having the weapon evaluated by a firearms expert they determined that Coe never fired.

Nadeau said the shooting remains under investigation, but defended the officers’ actions given the tumultuous, fast-moving situation. He said the officers had to “make those split-second decisions” and had a duty to protect fellow officers, as well as Coe’s mother, who remained nearby, and neighbors who had gathered outside to watch the incident.

Coe’s mother previously declined to comment about the shooting to The Sun, but said the family was trying to find a lawyer.

On Tuesday, police said that Coe called 911 to initiate the incident at the 4100 block of Crawford Ave., alleging his mother said he was trying to kill her. But the message relayed to police officers heading to the scene was that Coe’s mother had called the emergency line.

The department released six videos Thursday, totaling more than two hours of footage. One video shows the initial interactions Coe has with Officer Devon Galanos, who arrived at the scene first and attempts to coax Coe from outside the home. Coe’s sister is seen leaving the home, but Coe’s mother remained on the porch, as does Coe himself.

He tells the officer he is armed and has explosives, and tells the officer to call for backup.

“It’s going to be a major situation,” Coe tells the officer.

The officer can be heard asking for backup, and says that Coe appears to be unstable.

Galanos continues to calmly ask Coe to come away from the house and put down a bag he’s holding, but Coe declines.

“This is a dangerous situation and I recommend for backup to be [called],” Coe said.

Coe’s mother remains on the porch and goes on to tell the officer he is armed. The officer’s gun is drawn.

Galanos can be heard asking over the radio for CIT, or members of the department’s Crisis Intervention Team, who have 40 hours of training to respond to behavioral health crisis-related calls.

Nadeau said that all officers receive some basic training to responding to such calls, and that CIT team members were not available as this situation unfolded.

“I don’t know that a CIT person would have done anything differently than this officer with his 24-hour training. He did the appropriate thing trying to stay calm, stayed away from the house, tried to talk him down,” Nadeau said.

After several officers arrive, Galanos takes cover behind a vehicle. He and other officers can be seen standing outside the house with their guns drawn. Some are holding bunker shields.

Coe tells another officer that he had a gun and a detonated explosive, and Galanos tells that officer that he saw a gun in Coe’s waistband.

Galanos can be heard telling Coe, “Sir, do not reach,” and other officers also call out. “Sir, don’t do that. Put the gun down. Put it down,” Galanos can be heard yelling, along with several other officers, before several shots are fired.

The officers then retreat farther away from the house. They continue to yell for Coe to put the gun down, and fire additional rounds.

After several seconds, gunfire continues. Several officers call out, “Who is shooting?”

“Is it him? He’s still up,” Galanos can be heard saying.

Another officer can be heard saying, “We are down but he is still shooting.”

In a second video, Coe is on the ground after being shot and he is seen raising his gun and officers again fire their weapons.

“When you see someone raise a gun and point it and you hear someone fire, it’s very challenging in an environment like that to decide whether or not that person is firing or someone else is firing,” Nadeau said. “Once one person fires, the other people hear the gunfire too.”

The officers involved were previously identified as Sgt. Steven Evans and Officers Casey Miller, Devon Galanos, Lamont Woodard, Nydia Rios-Arroyo and Charles Thomas. Evans has 17 years of service with the department; the other officers all had four years or less of time with the department.

Neighbors expressed concerns about Coe in interviews with The Sun, saying he displayed signs referring to religion and politics on his home and in the yard. He regularly talked about being watched and harassed by the government on Facebook.

The shooting was the seventh involving Baltimore officers in 2021.

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.

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