Walter Hamrick, 47, a janitor, was found guilty yesterday of second-degree murder while armed in the shooting death last Oct. 16 of Sgt. Michael Acri, 38, a D.C. policeman who was answering a call to a domestic dispute at the time of his death.
The same D.C. Superior Court jury that found Hamrick guilty of murder in Acri's death also found him guilty of assault with a deadly weapon in the wounding of Office james E. D. Hayes, 33, who responded to the call with Acri.
Both Acri and Hayes were shot with Acri's police service revolver, according to evidence in the trial, which began last week.
Hamrick was wounded in the neck, body and one arm by other policemen. Officer Hayes, although wounded, fired six shots at him. Hamrick was in D.C. General Hospital from the day of the shooting until Dec. 14, when he was transferred to D.C. jail. He remained there awaiting trial in lieu of a $5,000 bond.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry R. Benner gave this account of the circumstances that led to the shooting:
Hamrick spent the right of last Oct. 15, a Friday, drinking bourbon and beer and waiting for a woman friend to return to his apartment at 816 E St. NE, where he worked as a janitor.
The woman entered the apartment in the early hours of Saturday, Oct. 16, and she and Hamrick quarreled. Hamrick struck her twice with a knife. She called police.
When Acri and Hayes arrived, the dispute was still going on. The woman reportedly tore up some of Hamrick's clothes. Hamrick reportedly smashed her television set. Police put the woman under arrest for disorderly conduct.
Hamrick insisted that the officers pursue the matter further and make a full report, although Acri said that arresting the woman was enough.
Hamrick brushed past Acri and swore at him. Acri grabbed him by the shoulders. Hamrick removed the sergeant's gun from its holster. Hayes saw the gun in Hamrick's had and joined the struggle.
Hayes was wounded in the thigh. Acri was shot through the heart. Hayes and other policemen then shot Hamrick.