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Frederick police officer kills man who came at him with hammer

July 22, 2008

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) -- Frederick police say an officer shot and killed a 52-year-old man who charged at him with a claw hammer.

Officer Frank Rucci, an eight-year veteran, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

The name of the dead man hasn't been released, pending notification of his family.

Lieutenant Shawn Martyak says Rucci was the first officer to respond to the Elmwood Terrace apartment complex after a series of 911 hang-up calls at about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday.

He says Rucci was approached by a man holding a claw hammer in a striking position. Martyak says the man ignored repeated commands to drop the hammer and then charged the officer.

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