Johns Hopkins Med Student Kills Thief With Samurai Sword

Suspected burglar had a nearly severed hand

Johns Hopkins University medical student armed with a samurai sword killed a man who allegedly broke into his garage early Tuesday, Baltimore police said.

It wasn't the first time burglars had hit the student's home. On Monday, thieves took two laptops and a Sony PlayStation from the house, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

But it might be the last.

According to Guglielmi, campus police and an off-duty city officer, responding to a call for a suspicious person in the 300 block of E. University Parkway, heard shouts and screams from a neighboring house. That's when they found the suspected burglar, 49-year-old Ronald Rice, who was unarmed.

During a subsequent interview with the police, the student said that he heard a commotion in the house and went downstairs with the samurai sword. The student said he told the man to leave, but the suspected burglar lunged at him instead. That's when, according to Guglielmi, the student defended himself, cutting off Rice's hand and causing a severe laceration to the man's upper body.

Rice died at the scene, Guglielmi said. He had prior convictions for breaking and entering and had just been released Saturday from a Baltimore County facility, according to Guglielmi.

Police interviewed the student's three roommates, who are also Hopkins students, and questioned the student for hours before releasing him. The police also talked to prosecutors about whether to file charges.


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Police described Rice as a career criminal with a history of 29 arrests who had just been released from prison Saturday after serving a yearlong sentence. It's unknown if he was involved in Monday's break-in.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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