P/O Johnny LaGrone

Fallen HeroOfficer Johnny LaGrone

Officer Johnny LaGrone

Accidental Death: Off-Duty Officer Shot and Killed Accidentally On June 28, 1984, Officer Johnny LaGrone, Southwestern District, tragically lost his life due to gunshot wounds he received while off duty. Officer LaGrone, a 2-year veteran, was in the process of moving from his residence when an 8-year-old child obtained possession of his service revolver and shot him with it. Even though responding officers and Fire Department medical technicians did everything possible to aid the stricken officer, he died a short time later at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services.

Reported in the Baltimore Sun
29 June 1984

Officer Is Shot to Death; Boy, 8, Is Questioned

An off-duty Baltimore Police officer was fatally shot yesterday [June 28, 1984] while at a friend’s apartment in Southwest Baltimore, City Police reported.

After an eight-hour search, police located an 8-year-old boy believed by investigators to be the only person in the apartment when Officer Johnny L. LaGrone, Junior, 37, was shot once in the chest, said Officer Arlene Jenkins, a City Police Spokeswoman.

The boy, who was found walking alone on Liberty Heights Avenue in West Baltimore about 11 PM, had been sought since the time of the shooting. He was taken to the police headquarters for questioning. Officer LaGrone was shot with his service revolver about 2:44 PM while at an apartment in the 2200 block of Tucker Lane, but he was able to call the police to say that he had been injured, Officer Jenkins said.

Officer LaGrone, who joined the force two and a half years earlier, died about 4 PM at the Shock Trauma Unit at University Hospital.

Details of the shooting were sketchy last night, but Officer Jenkins gave this account:

Shortly after 2:30 PM, a neighbor told police she heard the sound of gunfire, after which a young boy ran from the apartment of the officer’s friend. Also, LaGrone followed the youngster but collapsed in front of the apartment building.

Officer LaGrone’s service revolver was found in the grass outside the apartment, Officer Jenkins said.

According to investigators, the officer's friend, the mother of the boy who ran from the apartment, was at work at the time of the shooting.

The woman, contacted by police, agreed to help locate her son.

Officer LaGrone was assigned to the Southwestern District. He had been scheduled to work the 4 PM to midnight shift yesterday, Officer Jenkins said.

In March of the same year, Officer LaGrone shot and killed a man while off-duty as the officer tried to break up a fight on Interstate 95 in the Arbutus section of Baltimore County.

According to Baltimore County police, as Officer LaGrone was on his way home from work, he saw several men fighting alongside the highway. The officer stopped his car and tried to stop the fight. One of the men lunged at the officer with a knife, cutting the patrolman on his left wrist. Then, Officer LaGrone told the police, he drew his revolver and fired several warning shots. At this point, the knife-wielding man kept coming at the officer, who said he fired several shots again, which struck the motorist, county police said. Officer LaGrone was not charged in the incident.

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More details

End of Watch June 28, 1984
City, St. 2200 block of Tucker Lane
Panel Number N/A
Cause of Death Gunfire
Weapon Officer's Handgun
District Worked Southwestern

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