At 5:17 a.m. on Monday an Anne Arundel County Police officer shot and killed a man while serving an Extreme Risk Protective Order, per Maryland’s new red flag law.
Gary J. Willis, 61, of Ferndale was served the order by two police officers at his residence in the 100 block of Linwood Avenue, CBS Baltimore reported.
Sgt. Jacklyn David, with Anne Arundel County Police said, “Under the law, family, police, mental health professionals can all ask for the protective orders to remove weapons.”
Since the new law took effect, Anne Arundel County Police have had nine “red flag” calls.
According to police, when they arrived at Willis’ home he answered the door with a gun in his hand and then set the gun down next to the door.
Once the police handed Willis the order, he became enraged and retrieved his weapon.
A struggle ensued as one officer tried to take the gun from Willis, who ultimately pulled the trigger.
The other officer responded by firing his weapon at Willis, killing him.
Neither officer was injured in the incident.
The two officers were identified as Corporal J. Hopper and Police First Class G. Zawondry, both five-year veterans of the force. Both have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
The new “red flag” law went into effect Oct. 1, allowing guns to be taken away from anyone labeled as dangerous.
Anne Arundel police chief: Shooting was evidence that month-old ‘red flag’ law is needed https://t.co/NFkmStNxZM pic.twitter.com/ewerRPwdU1
— Sun Breaking News (@BaltSunBrk) November 7, 2018
The new law was written less than two weeks after the Rite Aid distribution center shooting in September in Aberdeen, MD., according to the Washington Post.
Snochia Moseley, 26, a temporary Rite Aid employee who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, opened fire on six people. Three were killed before she turned the gun on herself, ending her life.
Moseley had allegedly shown signs of mental illness and has struggled with her sexual identity. She was not truthful on her application to purchase a gun about her mental health issues.
Captain Carl Brooks, with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said in regard to the Rite-Aid shooting, “Had the law been in place, I think what would have happened is, it would have given the family the opportunity to use some avenues that, currently, are not available. That step was missing before. We had to wait for an action to occur. Now we can take some steps ahead of time and, hopefully, prevent these things from happening.”