Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Police released video of a robbery at a 7-Eleven on Tuesday where the suspects fired multiple shots at responding officers.
The robbers escaped the scene and are wanted by law enforcement (video below).
Residents who lived in the building above the convenience store at the corner of N. Charles Street and W. Saratoga Street said they were blown out of bed by the gunfight that took place between police and the two robbers around 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 16.
“This is a situation that is absolutely disturbing,” said Baltimore Police Spokesman T.J. Smith, as he narrated the surveillance videos from the 7-Eleven, nearby Citiwatch cameras, and officers’ bodycams. “It’s an absolute blessing we don’t have an officer shot.”
“These do not look like inexperienced killers. They look like hardened criminals … they look like people who didn’t care if they killed somebody last night,” Smith said.
Citiwatch, a community partnership with police program whereby private surveillance camera owners register their own cameras for monitoring by law enforcement, caught suspicious activity at the 7-Eleven in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
Citiwatch personnel saw the suspects casing the store and contacted Baltimore police when the incident erupted. Officers were able to respond to the scene within a minute.
“I can’t say enough about our Citiwatch operators and how they were proactively monitoring this particular store, among other 24-hour convenience store establishments that have been the victims of robberies of late,” Smith said.
“These two bad guys didn’t have a care in the world, they don’t have a care in the world, and you’ll get to witness that,” Smith said as he began to narrate the surveillance video for reporters.
The video showed the suspects going into the store, and pulling a gun on the clerk.
Police arrived outside the store, and approached from the front.
In the video of the interior of the store, one of the employees can be seen signaling to officers outside the store that the robbers were headed to the back door.
The suspects fired shots inside the store in what police believed to be a distraction to draw officers into the store, while the suspects attempted to escape out the back door, police said.
However, Baltimore police officers were waiting when the robbers tried to flee through the rear.
The suspects made a second escape attempt through the front door and were also met by officers.
The video showed one of the robbers fired at three police officers attempting to apprehend them at the front door, and then retreated inside, while officers backed away and took safer positions.
“At this stage, this is an active hostage barricade situation,” Smith said, as he described what was happening in the video.
The suspects were able to escape through the front door, separately, after police retreated from their gunfire. They fled in two different directions, police said.
One of the suspects fired at police again as he was escaping, and there was another brief gun battle on the street before the robber got away.
No 7-Eleven employees or officers were injured during the incident. It’s not known whether either of the suspects was injured, but police said there was no evidence they had been shot at the scene.
In the video, it did not appear that there were any customers in the store at the time of the shooting.
Smith said police believed the robber was shooting a TEC-9 pistol with an extended magazine. The robbers stole less than $100 during the robbery.
Attorney John Leppler, 28, told the Baltimore Sun that he and his girlfriend were awakened by the gun battle.
“It was literally right outside our window,” Leppler said. “I saw the guns fired by the police officers and saw them sprinting up the street.”
He said he didn’t see the suspects.
“It was kind of disbelief, to be honest with you. Definitely scary,” he said. “Baltimore City's finest, right here, in a serious gunfight.”
Smith said the three officers who fired at the suspects were put on routine paid administrative leave while the incident was investigated.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were assisting in the investigation, and have announced a reward of $24,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Metro Crime Stoppers also offered a reward, and asked anyone with information to call them at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP.
You can see videos of the incident below: