Gunman Opens Fire On Baltimore Cop, Then Command Orders Officers To Let Him Go
Baltimore, MD – Baltimore police are looking for a man who tried to run down a police officer on a traffic stop and then opened fire with a handgun at another cop on Tuesday morning.
"This is an armed and dangerous person willing to harm police officers and anyone else in our community, so we take this seriously. It speaks to the brazenness of today's criminal element," Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, WBAL reported.
The incident began at about 1:16 a.m. on Aug. 27 when a silver SUV tried to run over a Baltimore police officer who was out of his vehicle conducting a traffic stop in the 2400-block of Reisterstown Road, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Another officer on patrol in the area spotted the suspect vehicle about three minutes later at an intersection in the 1500-block of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Police said that as the officer approached the silver SUV in his police car, the suspect jumped out of his car and opened fire on the officer with a handgun, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Commissioner Harrison said the officer was able to back away in time to avoid being shot.
A 9mm shell casing was recovered later from the scene, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The driver fled and police pursued him through the city until a Baltimore police major ordered the officer to terminate the pursuit when it reached I-295, a six-lane highway that runs out of the city.
Commissioner Harrison said the major called off the pursuit because of the “danger factor” to citizens and officers, The Baltimore Sun reported.
"It just got to be high speed. It was through neighborhoods. As we encountered a danger factor with following the car, the pursuit was called off because of the danger factor to citizens and officers," he said, according to WBAL.
CitiWatch cameras showed the silver SUV did not appear to have license plates, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The police report indicated that the incident was captured on the officer’s bodycam.
Sources said that officers were angry that officials called off the chase.
Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 3 President Mike Mancuso took to Twitter to express his frustration with department officials.
“The brave men and women of the Baltimore Police Department were told to stand down during the riots. Now we are being told to stand down on an attempted murder of a police officer. #CityinCrisis,” Mancuso tweeted.
He told The Baltimore Sun that kind of decision was the reason violent crime is out of control in the city.
"How out of control has Baltimore become when criminals walk up on a uniformed officer, in a marked patrol car, and fire shots at the officer?” Mancuso asked. “Then there is a vehicle pursuit of the suspect and the pursuit is called off by BPD command... What does this tell the criminal element? What does it tell the officers doing the job every day? Is it any wonder that Baltimore is in the condition it is."
Seven people connected to law enforcement have been targeted in Baltimore in recent weeks, including Baltimore Police Sergeant Isaac Carrington, a 22-year veteran of the police force who was shot multiple times off-duty in an attempted robbery in front of his home, WBAL reported.
An off-duty Baltimore school police officer and a retired Maryland Department of Corrections (DOC) officer fatally shot an armed suspect as he was attempting to rob them on Saturday night.
And in recent weeks, two civilian employees of the Baltimore Police Department were attacked and robbed, The Baltimore Sun reported.