A 22-year-old former mental patient was shot to death by Montgomery County police officers early yesterday morning after he allegedly assaulted one of the officers with a knife in the parking lot of the Wheaton-Glenmont district police station.
Richard Wayne Parojinog was pronounced dead at 1:40 a.m. in Suburban Hospital, one hour after the incident occurred. He had four bullet wounds in his chest and one in his left arm.
No motive has yet been established for Parojinog's alleged assault. But a neighbor to the family said Parojinog's mother had said her son "was terribly upset" by the suicide by hanging of his twin brother, which occurred last Jan. 13.
The neighbor, who asked not to be named, said that at the time she talked with Parojinog's mother, "She was worried that it was getting near the birthday of both boys and he (Parojinog) was terribly upset. She didn't know how it would affect him.
According to police spokeswoman Nancy Moses, parojinog had a "history of emotional problems." According to Circuit Court records, Parojinog was in court on three occasions in the last three years on charges ranging from shoplifting and assault to arson and possession of drugs with intent to distrbute.
He was released from the Montgomery County detention center just before Christmas, according to Deputy State's Attorney Timothy Clarke. Prior to that, he had been confirmed in the Springfield Hospital Center, a state mental facility.
The two officers involved in the shooting, Edward Hickey, 34, and David Godbold, 26, have been placed on routine administrative leave with pay pending an internal police investigation of the shooting. Hickey was taken to Holy Cross Hospital where he was treated for a knife wound to his hand and released.
Police gave the following account of the incident:
Parojinog was stopped by an officer in the parking lot of the police station at 2300 Randolph Rd. and told he was walking in an area barred to the public Parojinog, who lived with his mother at 2309 Greenery La., about a block from the station, told the officer he was taking a shortcut through the lot.
Later he reappeared on the lot and asked an officer for directions to White Oak.
Then at about 12:40 a.m., he grabbed Hickey from behind, placing his left arm over Hickey's shoulder and a 12-inch kichen knife at Hickey's right side.
Parojinog told Hickey to get in the car and drive, but did not specify a destination. Hickey turned to face his assailant and dropped his car keys and portable police radio. When he went to pick them up, he swung at Parojinog, trying to knock the knife out of Parojinog's hands, and was cut on the right hand.
Hickey then drew his service revolver and "repeatedly" told Parojinog to drop the knife.
Officer Godbold, who saw the incident, tried to assist Hickey by trying to knock the knife out of Parojinog's hand with a blackjack. But Parojinog continued to lunge at the officers and said "words to the effect" that he would have to be killed before he would give up to police, according to Montgomery police Lt. Henry West.
Godbold and Hickey fired a total of six shots from their service revolvers, five of which hit Parojinog.