06/21/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Baltimore, MD – A Libertytown man whose wife was shot and killed by a state trooper after a domestic dispute inside their home Thursday, June 17, 2010, claims that police acted rashly and with excessive force, as reported by The Baltimore Sun.
Dean C. Perkins called police after a fight erupted between the couple early Thursday morning. He told the dispatcher and troopers at the scene that his wife was drunk and possibly armed.
Veronica L. Harding-Perkins was killed by a trooper who fired into her home after she pointed a gun at him from inside her doorway, according to police. After the woman was hit, troopers then established a barricade around the home. They did not enter the premise for five hours. The woman was dead by the time they entered.
Perkins told the Associated Press on Sunday, June 20 that he did not understand police reasoning to not establish a barricade immediately upon arrival. He believes police could have diffused the situation by negotiating with the woman from a distance.
Perkins stated, “If you know someone has a gun and they’re drunk, do you just approach the residence? If they knew she had a gun, what were you hoping to accomplish by walking up to the door?” He added, “I’m not painting my wife as lily white or innocent, but at the same time, I’m saying the way this was handled was unconscionable.”
State Police Spokesman Greg Shipley stated Sunday, “The preliminary indication is that this trooper acted in defense of himself and a fellow trooper, but all of our actions will be investigated, as they always are in situations where deadly force is used.”
The trooper and a fellow officer involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.
Perkins also raises questions as to why police waited five hours after the shooting before entering the house. Police answered the question by claiming that police were exercising caution because they did not know if the woman had hostages or if there were other people inside.
Perkins was outside the home at the time of the shooting. He had told authorities he left the home because his wife was belligerent and throwing things, but that he was not scared for his life.
A man living with the couple left the home after Perkins and reported that Harding – Perkins had a gun. Police found a loaded .45-calibur Smith and Wesson next to the woman’s body when they finally entered the home.
Perkins insists his wife’s life could have been spared though, and expressed his anger with the situation as, “You call these people for help and they show up [with] guns blazing.”
Address: Libertytown, Maryland
Phone: (866) 598-1315