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Dillon Mullan

The Baltimore Sun

July 2, 2024

Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown said Monday that his office will not charge three Baltimore County Police officers who responded to a November domestic dispute in Parkville that ended in a deadly shootout.

Arnel Redfern was killed in a “gunfight” with police while his wife, Maxine Redfern, “also died during the incident,” according to the investigative report by the Attorney General’s Office’s Independent Investigations Division.

The office, which gained power in October to prosecute officer-involved deaths, said in its report that it considered charging the officers — Christopher Schanberger, Andrew Burns and Andrew Langley — with excessive force or manslaughter.

The attorney general’s office has declined to charge officers in three other cases since it took over the authority to charge police from local prosecutors. That includes the 2023 fatal shooting of 27-year-old Hunter Jessup, who fired at Baltimore Police officers in November during a foot chase.

On the night of the Parkville shootings, Nov. 24, neighbors called police around 11:30 p.m. after hearing Maxine Redfern scream for help, according to the report. When Schanberger arrived at the home, Maxine Redfern opened the front door and screamed “Help me” before her husband shot her three times with a handgun, according to the report, which reviewed body camera footage.

Schanberger retreated from the doorway to the side of the porch as Burns arrived, drew a handgun, and took cover behind his car. As Langley arrived about 15 seconds later, Arnel Redfern shot Maxine Redfern a fourth time before opening the front door, according to the report.

Officers and Arnel Redfern then fired dozens of rounds in 40 seconds, according to the report. Schanberger fired eight rounds, Burns fired 16, Langley fired six and Arnel Redfern fired eight.

About five minutes after the shooting ended, a supervisor arrived and ordered officers to approach the unresponsive bodies. According to the report, officers handcuffed Maxine Redfern before checking for a pulse and attempting to render aid. Both were declared dead at the scene by medics, and during autopsies 9mm bullets from Burns’ handgun were in both bodies, according to the report.

Investigators also recovered a bullet and a bullet fragment consistent with Arnel Redfern’s gun in Maxine Redfern’s body. She suffered from 15 gunshot wounds, the report said. Arnel Redfern also died of multiple gunshot wounds.

After the Independent Investigations Division said in April that a bullet police fired had hit Maxine Redfern, a Baltimore County police spokesperson said the officers’ actions had been “heroic.”

“Mr. Redfern advanced toward Officer Schanberger on the front porch with a handgun mere seconds after shooting Ms. Redfern four times,” the attorney general’s report says. “From that point onward, officers were facing an imminent threat of serious injury or death as they exchanged gunfire with Mr. Redfern.”

Burns, the officer who shot both Redferns, has a valid self-defense claim to any potential charges of manslaughter, prosecutors wrote in the report.

Prosecutors wrote that because is no evidence that Burns intended to shoot Maxine Redfern, he did not use excessive force. Arnel Redfern already had shot his wife multiple times and she was lying on the floor behind him as he fired, according to the report, likely out of Burns’ sight.

The victims were “married but separated,” and Maxine Redfern, 48, was granted a protective order that ordered Arnel Redfern, 52, to surrender all firearms, writing in court papers that he mentally and psychologically abused her. Officers served him that order Oct. 11, according to the report. Police and the attorney general’s office have not said how they believe Arnel Redfern got the handgun investigators recovered.

The attorney general’s office is investigating three other deaths this year involving Baltimore County officers. In January, officers fatally shot a man at a Pikesville gas station days before a different man died in police custody. A woman died in April after a driver fleeing county police struck her car on the Baltimore Beltway.

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