A 41-year-old man was killed early Sunday morning after being struck by a Baltimore police vehicle that was responding to a nearby shooting, according to police.
Leondionas Dias Perez came out of an alley and entered the 900 block of East Patapsco Avenue in the Brooklyn area about 1:30 a.m., just as the officer was driving past, responding to a "Code 1" call for a shooting on nearby Jack Street, police said.
The officer's vehicle struck Perez, who died from injuries after being transported to an area hospital, police said.
Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman, said he did not have a local address for Perez, who was from South America.
An investigation of the incident by the police accident investigation unit is under way, Guglielmi said. The collision is being reconstructed.
"These things take a long time," he said.
Fatal pedestrian accidents are not uncommon in Baltimore — about a third of all accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists in Maryland occur in the city — but the number has been trending downward for a decade, from 20 in 2001 to nine last year.
Accidents involving police vehicles aren't unheard-of either. In 2008, a 43-year-old Baltimore man named Bobby Culp was critically injured when an officer struck him with her vehicle in the 3900 block of W. Belvedere Ave. after swerving to try to avoid him.
In 2004, a Baltimore police officer responding to an armed robbery call lost control of his vehicle after swerving to avoid another car, hopped a curb and struck a man on the sidewalk — throwing him more than 20 feet. The man suffered serious internal injuries.
There were 820 pedestrians struck by vehicles, 103 of whom were killed, in Maryland last year. Pedestrians were at fault in 70 percent of the incidents, and more than two-thirds of the people struck were impaired by alcohol, according to statistics.
The Baltimore Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with police and elected officials, launched the regional Street Smart campaign in 2009 to combat the problem, and last year, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III recorded a Street Smart public service announcement that aired on local television.
"Crossing the street shouldn't cost someone their life," Bealefeld said in the video, before urging pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers to "practice courtesy, common sense and personal responsibility" while using roads.
Preliminary evidence from the vehicle's computer Sunday shows that its lights and sirens were on at the time of the collision, Guglielmi said.
The investigation will determine the speed the vehicle was traveling and who was at fault, he said. He said he did not have further details.
The call the officer, whom police have not identified, was responding to was for a shooting in the 900 block of Jack Street.
Officers there found a 49-year-old man sitting on the front steps with an apparent gunshot wound to the hand.
The man told officers he had been asleep in his upstairs bedroom when he was awakened by a man who threatened him with a knife and demanded valuables, police said. The two men began to fight and the intruder produced a handgun and shot the victim in his hand, police said.
The intruder fled, and the victim called police, who took the man to an area hospital for treatment, police said.
Southern District detectives are investigating and ask that anyone with information call 410-396-2499.
In a second incident, a 32-year-old man was found by police officers at 1:24 a.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of W. North Avenue with a gunshot wound to his hand, police said.
Western District detectives are investigating and ask that anyone with information call 410-396-2477.
At 6:53 p.m., police responded to the 3000 block of East Baltimore Street and found a 19-year-old man shot in the hip and back after being approached by a group of men wearing "dark clothing and ski masks," police said. He was transported to an area hospital. The motive is unknown.
Southeast District detectives are investigating and ask anyone with information to call 410-396-2422.