updated 7/22/2007 11:07:38 PM ET 2007-07-23T03:07:38

An Army corporal out on the town opened fire on a police officer who was working overtime as a security guard early Sunday, then was fatally shot in return, police said. The officer was not injured.

Cpl. Alexander E. Larkin, 25, who was stationed at Fort Meade, was club-hopping before the gunfight with Officer Jared Stern in a parking garage shortly before 2 a.m., said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman.

Stern, also 25, was working in the parking garage when he came upon an altercation between two men, Monroe said. Two other men, including Larkin, appeared ready to get involved, she said.

Stern tried to break up the fight and used a chemical spray on the men. Larkin pulled out a .50-caliber semiautomatic Desert Eagle handgun and opened fire, Monroe said. It was not a military-issue sidearm, she said.

Stern was not hit but returned fire and struck Larkin several times, Monroe said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Stern was placed on routine administrative leave. Fort Meade spokespeople did not immediately return calls seeking comment, but base officials told WMAR-TV that Larkin worked in a military intelligence unit.

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