Dean: "Someone Will Die Tonight"

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Dean: "Someone Will Die Tonight"

Leonardtown - 12/26/2006

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By Anna Bedford

 The Bay Net Photos by Joshua Davis
Shortly before 10 p.m. on Christmas Day police made a check on welfare at a residence on Dusty Lane, off Brown Road, in Leonardtown/Hollywood area. The man for whom they were concerned was 29 year old James Dean. The check was made at the request of family members. He was reportedly suicidal and inside the home with multiple weapons.

Police made contact with Dean when they were on the premises, but he refused to leave the house, telling officers “Someone will die tonight.”

Dean fired several shots from one or more guns during the 14 hour stand-off that followed. Shots were fired inside and outside the house, and Dean shot three police vehicles, one of which was occupied by an officer, who was unharmed.

Police made multiple attempts to coax Dean from the house, including the use of teargas.

Officers were working cautiously to end the incident with the knowledge that Dean was a trained military man, recently returned from serving in Afghanistan. Several homes in the neighborhood surrounding the residence were evacuated.

Dean finally exited the home as police were again deploying tear gas and preparing to enter via the back door. He appeared from the home armed with a gun, and was shot by an anti-sniper officer who was responsible for securing the perimeter. The Maryland State Police officer fired a single shot, which hit and killed Dean.

When Dean exited the residence at approximately 12:15 p.m. today, he reportedly leveled a long gun at police, which caused the member of the tactical team to fire a single shot at him, according to a release from the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations. Sheriff Cameron said he didn’t think the incident could have been handled differently given the situation. The police were dealing with a trained ranger, and the officer’s priority was to secure the perimeter and protect the other officers. If Dean had been able to cross the perimeter of the house he would have been armed and in the vicinity of housing developments.

According to family members, Dean’s suicidal stand-off was likely related to recent news that he would be re-deployed to serve, this time in Iraq. Police could not confirm Tuesday evening if any family members were with Dean when he began threatening suicide. Officers did speak with his wife and with family during the incident, and the relatives were further down the barricaded street at a safe distance from the house today.

The incident is now under investigation. Little was confirmed about Dean’s background, state of mind, or intentions and motivation on Tuesday evening. One possibility is that Dean was suicidal and wanted to be shot, a so-called “Suicide By Cop.”

It was a sad and abrupt end to the overnight barricade. Dean was reportedly a recent veteran from Afghanistan, and a married man, aged 29.

Stay with The Bay Net for further details and video footage of responses from Maryland State Police and Sheriff Tim Cameron.

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