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Nelson F. Bell




On this day in Baltimore Police History 22 Oct 1978 we lost our Brother K9 Officer Nelson F. Bell to gunfire based on the following;

On October 22, 1978, shortly after 8:00 p.m. a security guard approached two Central District officers He stated that an armed man was menacing citizens at the rear of the Downtown Trailways Bus Terminal. The officers quickly passed through the crowded terminal and exited to the bus loading area where they confronted the suspect, who was armed with a rifle. As the suspect raised the weapon to a firing position, the Central Officers sought cover behind a parked bus. They then ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. He refused and continued to aim at one of the officers. At this point the officers fired as the suspected retreated into a dark shadow. The officers notified the dispatcher of the situation at hand. Other units immediately began responding, including K-9 Officer Nelson F. Bell. Officers who began arriving at the scene heard several shots and fellow officers pleading with the suspect to drop his weapon. As they inched their way through three narrow alleyways, which accessed the bus loading area, they observed the officers seeking cover as the suspect threatened them with various weapons.

The events were moving quickly, the suspect was not responding to the efforts of the officers who were trying to calm the situation. Two officers began climbing the nearby rooftop in an effort to obtain an advantageous position should additional application of deadly force become necessary. Before they could get to their destination, the suspect, armed with a bow and arrow, lunged at the officers. There was a volley of shots, involving several of the many officers who had responded. The suspect went down. Officers went to the suspect’s side in order to provide first aid. The suspect was dead. At this time, an officer noticed that Officer Bell had been shot. He sustained a massive head wound and lay bleeding thirty feet from the suspect.

He was transported to University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Unit where teams of medical specialists worked to save his life. The injuries were too massive and he died on 27 Oct 1978 after five days of treatment. The question of where the fatal shot came from may never be answered. Officer Bell’s position was such that he was not in direct line of fire from any of those Officers who were involved in trying to ricocheting from the tall brick walls, which surrounded the bus loading area, may have found Officer Bell.

As his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department we will not let him be forgotten, His service Honored the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Police Department may he rest in peace, and may God bless him.

More details

Name Description
End of Watch 27 October, 1978
City, St. Downtown Trailways Bus Terminal
Panel Number 17-W: 16
Cause of Death Gunfire
Weapon - Friendly Fire
District Worked K9

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