Police say a man who stole a handgun from a bank security guard at Cross Street in Federal Hill was shot by police several blocks south after pulling the weapon on officers, a city police spokesman said.
Anthony Guglielmi, the police department's chief spokesman, said preliminarily that it did not appear that the man attempted to rob the bank. He took the guard's gun and tried to carjack a woman, but was unsuccessful. Guglielmi said the man fled south, discarding clothing, but was chased by citizens who were calling police and relaying his location. He was eventually located in the 1800 block of Light St., west of Riverside Park in South Baltimore.
"We received tremendous help from the community," Guglielmi told reporters at the scene. "We have them to thank for his capture. He was shedding clothing, trying to change his appearance, and people kept telling us, ‘He went this way, he’s wearing that.’”"
There, Guglielmi said the man pulled the handgun and was shot by officers multiple times. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was reported to be conscious and breathing.
Taking a jog through Federal Hill, Lisa Morabito was in front of the bank when she saw the suspect bolt out the front door. The silver handgun glimmered in the sun. She said a male security officer exited next, saying, “He took her gun!” Morabito said she saw the suspect dart into the Cross Street Market.
“It took me a couple seconds to process it,” said Morabito, a Sykesville resident who was on a break from her job at a nearby animal shelter.
Justin Winn, 27, a subcontractor with BGE, was working in an alley between off Barney St. and was taking a break when he saw a man come out of a convenience store on the southeast corner of Barney and Light.
“I saw the guy come out of the market. He turned around and pulled out what looked like a gun. Two police officers came up and unloaded on him," Winn said.
Winn said the suspect stumbled 10 feet then fell onto into a gutter behind a parked car.
He said, “I usually work up in Towson. This is my first day in the city - I pop my head up and I see some guy get shot.”
The shooting occurred near an elementary school that was letting out. Margaret Fleming was there picking up her 4 year old grandson and said school officials held the children inside for a brief period of time "just to keep everyone inside for a moment to keep everyone safe,” she said.
Betty Jenkins said she has lived on Barney Street for 15 years. She was inside with her poodle, Buddy, when she heard five to six gunshots.
"I saw a lady out here with a stroller with her children, and she was backing up. I asked her what was going on and she said, the police just shot somebody."
The security guard was unharmed, and was being debriefed by detectives at police headquarters. Guglielmi said police recovered the stolen handgun.
-Peter Hermann and Justin Fenton