A Baltimore police officer shot at, chased and arrested a man after happening upon a robbery at a Morrell Park restaurant Sunday afternoon.

When the officer pulled up to Italiano's, in the 2200 block of Washington Blvd., an employee ran out to tell him it was being robbed by a man with a gun, Baltimore City Police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said. The man came out while the officer was still in the parking lot, at which point the officer shot at him, Rodriguez said. Further details of the initial exchange, including whether the suspect shot at the officer, were not released pending investigation.

The officer chased the man to an industrial park around the corner, where he was arrested, Rodriguez said. Investigators found a gun he had tossed nearby.

No suspect description of the man was released, as police believe he may have been involved in prior robberies, including one earlier Sunday afternoon. Rodriguez said police don't want to prejudice possible witnesses.

Rodriguez commended the officer for his handling of "a life-or-death situation" and said the incident illustrates how unpredictable police work can be.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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