MARYLAND

Security Firm Faces Gun Probe

Maryland State Police said yesterday they have opened an investigation into a Silver Spring private security firm after two of its guards were arrested last week for allegedly carrying loaded handguns without the proper permits.

Police said two employees of Tillman Protective Group each had a Glock semiautomatic pistol when they were arrested Jan. 14 in Oxon Hill and charged with carrying handguns without the proper authority. The security guards, Lorenzo Dionnte Cole, 24, of the 4000 block of Sixth Avenue in Hyattsville, and Luis Miguel Ferraz, 24, of the 6000 block of West Forest Road, were released on their own recognizance, police said.

Private security companies are responsible for obtaining state firearms licenses for their employees, said Lt. Joseph A. Barker Jr., a state police spokesman. Barker said investigators are examining Tillman Protective Group "to see what kind of practices they had." Leroy McDonald, director of human resources for the company, declined to comment.

Suspect Shot by Police Dies

A man who was shot by Baltimore County police responding to a report of forgery at a Dundalk bank has died, a hospital spokeswoman said yesterday.

Alex Janiski, 23, died Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, a day after being shot once in the head and several times in the lower torso when he pointed a gun at police.

Officers were called to a bank in the 1700 block of Merritt Boulevard Tuesday and found a man matching the suspect's description coming out of a drugstore.

The officers said they tried to stop Janiski as he got into a taxi, and he pulled out a gun. Officers shot at Janiski as he ran down the street.

Officers Michael Snyder, Todd Edelin, Anthony DiCara and Stephen Forster are on administrative duty while the shooting is investigated.

This was Baltimore County's first police-related shooting of the year. Last year, there were five.

THE DISTRICT

Arrest Said Near in Slaying of SE Man

Police are close to an arrest in Wednesday night's shooting death of a Southeast Washington man, said 6th District Lt. Francis Hill.

Pernell Bell, 36, who lived in the 3600 block of Minnesota Avenue SE, died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest. His assailant may have been seeking some kind of retaliation, Hill said.

Investigators have interviewed witnesses to the shooting and are pursuing leads that point to several suspects, police said.

Bell was in the 3500 block of East Capitol Street about 8 p.m. Wednesday when he was shot. He died at D.C. General Hospital about 11 p.m., police said.