Detective Marcellus Ward

Detective Marcellus Ward

Baltimore City Police Department, Maryland

End of Watch Monday, December 3, 1984

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Marcellus Ward

Detective Marcellus Ward was shot and killed while working on an undercover assignment.

He was shot and killed as he and other Baltimore officers and a DEA agent attempted to arrest a heroin dealer at 1829 Frederick Avenue. The suspect was taken into custody following the shootout.

He was convicted of Detective Ward's murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Detective Ward had served with the Baltimore City Police Department for 13 years and was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration's Baltimore District Office Task Force. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge 45

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

narcotics, undercover

Most Recent Reflection

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This death has haunted me from time-to-time for 35 years.

I was 24 years old, in law school in Chicago, but in D.C. visiting my then-girlfriend.

The News Anchor warned that the undercover audiotape was vivid. I should have followed the warning and stop listening.

I recall as I type, Detective Ward trying to talk sense to the bad guy dope dealer. I recall the dope dealer telling Detective Ward to "get down!"

The bad guy coward repeated three times, "get down!"

Each time he said it, he shot Detective Ward. My brain will not let go of or silence the muffled sound of each gunshot.

Most tragically, I still hear Detective Ward respond with a painful, "Oooh," to each shot.

I pray that his Wife, his Children, and his other loved ones have found some meaningful degree of peace.

Please know that Detective Ward is remembered and deeply honored.

George, a former AUSA
United States Attorney's Office

July 22, 2019

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