Man shot by police after aiming his gun at an officer

Posted on April 17, 2009. Filed under: Maryland, shot by police |

Baltimore, Maryland – The couple had planned to spend the warm spring day in Pennsylvania, marching and camping with other Civil War re-enactors. Becky Waugh packed the pickup with their costumes and gear. But her boyfriend – owner, she said, of an antique but functional muzzleloading rifle – apparently grew angry. Just after noon Friday, she called 911 to say that he had threatened to “blow her head off,” touching off events that ended with police shooting and critically wounding the Anne Arundel County man.

From the moment Rickey Lee Kitzmiller, 42, a plumber and father of three, woke up Friday, he was in a strange state, Waugh said. “When I looked at him, there was nothing. It was just pure anger,” she said.

Cursing, Kitzmiller grabbed from the pickup a cooler of beef stew that Waugh had made for the re-enactment and hurled it at the house, she said. He smashed a Confederate statue into her new flat-panel TV and tossed the coffee table off the porch, she said.

Then the man sat down on the sofa with his rifle between his knees. “He started ripping these ‘paper ladies’ ” – packets of gunpowder – “open with his teeth and sticking them in there,” Waugh said. “I knew he was going to have to ram them down the barrel before he could shoot it, so I ran out of the house.”

Waugh ran to an aunt’s home – several relatives live on the quiet stretch of Quarterfield Road in Severn – and watched him stalk into the woods with the rifle and a blank look on his face, she said. He fired the gun and came back to the house laughing, Waugh said. Soon after, Kitzmiller’s mother arrived at the house. Waugh called police, telling the 911 operator that Kitzmiller had threatened her and had assaulted his mother.

Waugh said that, after she called 911, Kitzmiller said: “I’m going down in a blaze of glory.”

When Anne Arundel County police officers arrived, they looked through a window and saw Kitzmiller sitting in a chair with a “long gun,” police said. According to police, Kitzmiller refused several orders to drop the weapon and instead aimed it at an officer. The officer fired several rounds, and the wounded Kitzmiller was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Kitzmiller had been depressed recently over the death of a friend from a drug overdose and was dreading a coming court date over child-support payments, Waugh said. More on Baltimore Sun

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