Baltimore, MD – A veteran Baltimore police officer remains hospitalized in stable condition after being wounded by an active shooter at a methadone clinic on Monday morning.
Two other individuals – including the shooter – were killed during the attack, and a female employee was injured, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The incident began at the Man Alive treatment center in the 2100-block of Maryland Avenue at approximately 7 a.m., when the unnamed gunman stormed into the clinic demanding methadone, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told reporters during a press conference.
Witness George Dowler, 61, said he was inside the clinic’s waiting room area when he heard a gunshot coming from one of the facility’s counselor’s offices.
Dowler then saw a man and the counselor emerge from the office, and noticed that the man was holding the counselor at gunpoint.
The gunman ordered the woman to give him access to a secured area behind the counter, where the methadone is stored, Dowler said.
“Open that [expletive] door or I’m going to shoot you,” the suspect demanded, according to Dowler.
“She let him in, and then I screamed, ‘Let her [expletive] go!’” he told The Baltimore Sun. “He did let her go, and she comes running back toward me, and I said ‘Go to your office. Go to your office.’”
Dowler also escaped from the gunman, but was concerned because he hadn’t received his own methadone prior to the incident.
“Who knows how many hours it’s going to be before I’m medicated,” he said.
Baltimore Police received a report about the active shooter at 7:09 a.m., Commissioner Harrison said.
When officers arrived, citizens outside the methadone clinic informed them that the gunman was still inside, and that he had fired multiple rounds.
The officers made their way into the clinic, and attempted to de-escalate the situation numerous times, the commissioner explained.
The suspect refused to surrender, and began firing at them.
“As the suspect fired upon our officer, he returned gunfire, but was struck by the suspect’s rounds,” Commissioner Harrison said.
The commissioner identified the wounded officer as 48-year-old Baltimore Police Sergeant Billy Shiflett, who has been with the department for 25 years.
He was shot in the lower abdomen, WBAL reported.
His fellow officer, 32-year-old Baltimore Police officer Christopher Miller, immediately dragged the wounded sergeant to safety, and he was rushed to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma.
Sgt. Shiflett was immediately taken into surgery, and has since been listed in stable condition.
The gunman was also transported to the hospital, where he died of his gunshot wounds.
Investigators recovered the suspect’s weapon near his body, Commissioner Harrison said.
As Baltimore police were securing the scene, they discovered another man inside a room suffering from gunshot wounds.
The victim was rushed to the hospital, but succumbed to his wounds.
A female employee also suffered non-life threatening injuries during the attack, and she was transported to the hospital.
The commissioner praised Officer Miller for heroically saving Sgt. Shiflett, and said that he demonstrated “extreme courage, extreme bravery, and extreme professionalism” during the chaotic encounter.
Officer Miller is a two-and-one-half-year veteran of the department.
"Our hearts are with the victims’ loved ones, and we are grateful for the prompt response by law enforcement," Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said, according to WBAL.
The officer-involved shooting, which was captured by bodycams, remains under investigation, Commissioner Harrison said.