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Unarmed Domestic Violence Suspect Fatally Shot By Police In Owings Mills

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (WJZ) -- A deadly police involved shooting is under investigation in Baltimore County. There are a lot of questions after officers killed an unarmed domestic violence suspect in Owings Mills.

Derek Valcourt with some of the details in the case.

Three officers fired at least 19 shots. They say they thought the suspect was armed with a gun. Investigators now say that was not the case.

It was just after 1 a.m. Thursday when officers responded to a call of domestic violence inside a home at a condo building on Hunting Ridge Drive in Owings Mills.

RELATEDOfficers Fire 19 Shots In Baltimore Co., Unarmed Suspect Killed

Hearing a woman screaming for help inside, officers forced their way in and found 41-year-old Spencer Lee McCain.

"Immediately upon entering the front door of the structure, the police officers encountered a subject in a defensive position, making body movements and arm movements that placed the officers in fear of serious injury or death from a weapon that they feared he possessed and would engage them with," said Chief James Johnson, Baltimore County Police Department.

All three officers opened fire. Investigators found at least 19 bullet casings on the floor. McCain later died from his injuries.

Police Chief Johnson says the responding officers were aware of an extensive history of calls of domestic violence to that address.

The woman inside, identified as Shannon Sulton, had multiple injuries to her head, face and arms.

"She also stated in her statement to the police officers, the detectives, that Mr. Spencer McCain said, '"You're going to get the beating you deserve,'" said Chief Johnson.

There were two children inside the house--a two-year-old and a ten-year-old child--who police credit with hearing the domestic violence and calling a grandmother. The grandmother then called 911.

Some neighbors say they never heard the gunshots.

"Seeing the police cars this morning on my way to work, I'm startled," said neighbor Teresa Davis.

McCain had been court ordered to keep away from that particular home.

Police tell WJZ they were called to that same home 17 times for complaints of domestic violence over the course of two and a half years.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation into whether their use of deadly force was justified.

McCain does have a criminal record, including a handgun conviction and a domestic violence case.

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