our people died and one was injured in a shooting and explosion Saturday in a townhouse neighborhood in Woodlawn, including the alleged gunman, whom Baltimore County Police said they killed.
Neighbors called 911 to report a fire and an armed man in the 7500 block of Maury Road, and officers and firefighters arrived together about 6:40 a.m. to find the man outside the burning homes, county police spokeswoman Joy Stewart said.
Four Baltimore County police officers shot at Brown, killing him, Stewart said.
“That threat was neutralized,” she said Saturday at the scene. “At that point, firefighters were able to address the fire.”
In addition to the gunman, two other men and a woman died in the incident, and fourth man is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a hospital, police said.
Police identified the gunman later Saturday as Everton Brown, a 56-year-old who lived in one of the destroyed houses and who neighbors said had a history of erratic behavior.
The names of the other people killed were not released. The four officers who shot at Brown also were not identified Saturday, and neither was the cause of the fire or explosion. Officers’ body cameras captured footage of the incident, Stewart said.
No family members of Brown could be reached Saturday.
The chaotic incident came just three days after the most recent peace order was filed against Brown and after more than a decade of complaints from neighbors, who said he was paranoid that his house was being constantly searched by the FBI and other agencies. He accused neighbors of assisting, they said.
Kweku Quansah, 51, said he heard an explosion and came outside to check what was going on. He said he saw his neighbor’s house on fire, then saw the gunman walking between cars firing shots.
“He was shooting towards us,” Quansah said. “And then I saw a lady on the ground. He turned and shot the lady again on the ground.”
Quansah said he has been a resident in the Parkview Crossing neighborhood for 23 years and said what took place Saturday morning was “not surprising” — it was just a matter of when.
“It was like a ticking bomb,” he said.
Residents said the gunman lived in the community and had threatened and confronted neighbors, accusing them of spying on him for the federal government.
Quansah said he reported the suspect to police in the past.
“We don’t know why he was doing that, but this has been going on over and over again,” Quansah said. “A lot of people tried to complain about it, but nothing was done.
“I was like, ‘Do you all want him to commit a crime before you guys come out to help us?’ and they [police] said, ‘Yes, that is the Maryland law.’ ”
Ranjith Ravindiran and his wife, who live just down the street, said the shooter was going door-to-door with a gun.
“It still could have been much worse today,” Ravindiran said.
Ravindiran, 50, first moved into the townhome community in 2005. Ravindiran said the man had threatened people in the neighborhood for years and yelled at people on the street.
Ravindiran said the alleged gunman had a red truck outside his home with a sign saying he was being watched by the FBI. He said he kept his family away from the man’s home.
“Everyone knew he was a problem,” Ravindiran said during an interview.
Jo Conyers said her mother lives a few doors down from the gunman. She said Brown would scream from his porch on a bullhorn and walked up and down the sidewalk with a rifle.
“My mom has been trying to get him help for 20 years to no avail,” Conyers said. “The police would just come and sit outside his house but never did anything.”