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Frederick man shot by police

March 22, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

A Frederick man who allegedly fired a handgun at two Maryland State Police troopers in a hotel parking lot was shot and killed by a Frederick County Sheriff's Department deputy moments later Saturday night, police officials said.

The deputy and the troopers were placed on administrative leave during an investigation, while the deceased man's fianc said police "overreacted."

Sheriff's deputies said Todd A. Fuller, 25, of Oberlin Circle, suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest after authorities responded at 11:16 p.m. to reports of a domestic incident at the Hampton Inn at 5311 Buckeystown Pike south of Frederick.

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Deputies said Fuller and his fianc, whom authorities declined to identify, were involved in a physical dispute at the Pastime Cafe, inside the hotel. Fuller allegedly left the hotel, went to his home and got a handgun, deputies said. Deputies said he crashed into a light fixture at the entrance of the Hampton Inn parking lot upon his return.

Deputies allege Fuller fired a handgun at two Maryland State Police troopers from the Frederick barrack who were trying to persuade him to drop the weapon. As the man was trying to re-enter the Pastime Cafe, he pointed a gun at a deputy, who responded by shooting Fuller, deputies said.

All three officers, who were not identified by representatives from both agencies, were placed on administrative leave with pay until the investigation is complete, a practice that Deputy Jennifer Bailey and State Police Sgt. Robert Reed said is not uncommon.

"For this type of incident, an officer involved in a shooting, it's protocol for our agency to put that officer on administrative leave during the investigation," Bailey said.

Bailey declined to release information about the deputy involved in the shooting, other than to say he is a department veteran with "a number of years" of experience.

She said the state officers did not return fire on the man who allegedly shot at both of them.

"They could not shoot because there were citizens in the area," Bailey said.

Bailey said she did not know what sparked the dispute between Fuller and his fianc.

Detective Eric Byers is the lead investigator on the case, Bailey said.

John Ceviker, an employee at the Hampton Inn, said the general manager would comment on Saturday's incident. Management did not return multiple calls Sunday evening.

Dawn Woolford, who identified herself Sunday as Fuller's fianc, said in a telephone interview that someone told her Saturday evening, just prior to the fatal shooting, that Fuller was firing a gun outside the business.

Woolford said she tried to run toward Fuller to talk to him, but was impeded by troopers who were trying to protect her while shots were being fired.

"I wanted to see if that were true," she said. "I wanted to help if it were the case, but I didn't get a chance to say anything to him."

Woolford said she and Fuller, who have known each other for six months, were to be married next month. Woolford said she wishes police would have given her fianc more of a chance.

"He was a good man. Anything you hear elsewise is untrue," she said.

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