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Baltimore County Now

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Date: Aug 2012

Baltimore County Police logoby Police Chief James Johnson

Following tragedies such as Monday’s Perry Hall High School shooting, we all search for lessons, for knowledge that can help us avoid something similar one day down the road.

Over the past week, I’ve heard many people ask how the 15-year-old suspect, Robert Wayne Gladden Jr., managed to get the shotgun – kept in his father’s home in Hawthorne – used to critically injure classmate Daniel Borowy and victimize an entire community.

It’s a logical question – but there’s an equally logical question that has been overlooked: Why didn’t Gladden use the multiple firearms in his mother and stepfather’s home in the 8500 block of Bradshaw Road?

This shooting, as devastating as it was, could have been worse. Police have evidence that Gladden was well aware of the guns in his stepfather’s home but knew he could not access them because they were locked in a safe.

One person was shot on Monday. As I see it, there could have been more victims but for two factors: The quick and heroic actions of the guidance counselor who rushed to subdue Gladden, and Gladden’s inability to obtain his stepfather’s weapons.

The shotgun Gladden used in this crime holds two rounds of ammunition. It is capable of inflicting deadly damage. Still, reloading it takes time, and it is not as easy to use as more contemporary weapons.

Now consider some of the weapons and ammunition in the Bradshaw Road home as described in the District Court statement of charges already released to the public:

  • Zhongzhou 20-gauge shotgun
  • Boito 12-gauge shotgun
  • Sears Roebuck & Co Model 100 30-30 caliber rifle
  • Marlin Model 30-30 caliber rifle
  • Remington 22 caliber auto loader
  • Remington shotgun
  • Remington Sportsman 12 gauge shotgun
  • Ruger P95 9mm semiautomatic handgun
  • Loaded handgun magazine and assorted live ammunition

Some of these weapons are easier to use and have higher capacity magazines than the shotgun used in the shooting. The Ruger handgun is a semiautomatic weapon capable of rapidly firing multiple rounds. That weapon would have been particularly destructive, had Gladden been able to use it in the cafeteria.

Gladden did not take one or more of these weapons to Perry Hall High on the first day of school because he literally could not put his hands on them. Andrew Piper, Gladden’s stepfather, is legally prohibited from owning weapons. But at least he locked these guns in a safe.

Gladden took the Western Field double-barreled shotgun – unsecured in his father’s Hawthorne Road home -- and carried it to school because it was the only weapon he could get.

Maryland law requires gun owners to secure loaded firearms from children 15 and younger. The Perry Hall shooting shows that not securing unloaded weapons – while legal – is dangerous as well. As a police chief, I encourage gun owners to do more than the law requires by securing all weapons, loaded or unloaded. This is neither difficult nor expensive; there are many affordable gun-locking devices on the market.

Regardless of our opinions about guns and gun control, we ought to be able to agree on this: The consequences of not securing firearms in the home can be disastrous.

If you are a gun owner, I hope that is one of the lessons you take away from what happened at Perry Hall High this week.


by Marjorie Hampson
 Baltimore County Tourism Director

Ernest Hemingway observed, “Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.” If that’s true, northern Baltimore County and its outstanding wineries and vineyards offer wine lovers a civilized and inviting place to visit. Experience award-winning and hand-crafted wines at any of the County’s four family-owned wineries. Located in Hydes, Boordy and DeJon vineyards boast picturesque grounds and high-quality red and white table wines. Basignani Winery and Woodhall Wine Cellars, along the York Road corridor, produce classically styled wines from Maryland-grown grapes. Visit, take a tour, and enjoy the local flavor.

Enjoy special events and happenings at the wineries and vineyards. At Boordy, visit Good Life Thursdays and on Saturdays attend Midsummer Evening Concerts:http://www.boordy.com/events. DeJon Vineyards holds Wednesday Night Music and Saturday Night Summer Concerts:http://dejonvineyard.com/. Visit Basignani, which hosts a seasonal calendar of events including, TGIF Movie Nights and wine tasting festivities:http://www.basignani.com/. Friday nights are Open Mic nights at Woodhall Wine Cellars, and in July enjoy Grillin’ & Chillin’ on the deck:www.woodhallwinecellars.com/


Defenders Day at North Pointby Jay Doyle
 Project Manager, Baltimore County Department of Planning

Enjoy Defenders Day at North Point – Baltimore County’s signature annual salute to its War of 1812 heritage – this Sunday, Sept. 2nd, at the beautiful waterfront treasure known as Fort Howard Park, 9500 North Point Road. This daylong affair features two reenactments of the Battle of North Point, which took place the day before the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.

Gates open at 10 a.m., with the first reenactment commencing at 1 p.m. and the second at 4 p.m. A strong contingent of living history interpreters will be on hand as will strains of   period music. Recently, the Fire Museum of Maryland began exhibiting at the event, this year being no exception. The intrepid firefighters will have a true, 1812-era pumper truck on display, intriguing to children and adults alike.

The Battle of North Point began in pre-dawn hours when British royal marines and infantry disembarked from ships, landing at various points along the southern tip of the North Point peninsula. This year’s event plans a new maritime feature to depict this dramatic aspect of the battle. On land, British invaders in “red-coat” attire will face off against Maryland militia units such as Asquith’s Rifles and the vaunted “Dandy Fifth” Regiment. Thundering cannon fire will echo through the trees. Odds are British General Robert Ross will take a direct hit and stoically draw his last breath on Baltimore County soil as he did 198 years ago.

We salute Defenders Day Chairman Harry Young and his loyal band of steadfast volunteers with the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society who put on a splendid show every year. Bring your appetite. Consider purchasing commemorative items and souvenirs from the historical society, Friends of Todd’s Inheritance and other civic organizations eager to promote the War of 1812 bicentennial and their good causes. Representatives from the National Park Service and the Baltimore County War of 1812 Advisory Committee will be in attendance.             

Information:  Jay Doyle, 410-887-2483


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