A bullet lodged in an off-duty Baltimore County police officer's wallet became a key piece of evidence as investigators tracked down a suspect in his shooting, according to charging documents.
Police said Friday that they had arrested Michael Jabateh, 18, charging him with the attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Officer Carlos Moorer. Jabateh, who lives in the 100 block of Commodore Drive in Essex, is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
In the charging documents, detectives wrote that Jabateh fired at Moorer four times, wounding him twice. Another bullet stuck in his wallet, which he was carrying in his left back pants pocket, and tests linked it to a Smith and Wesson 9 mm gun found on Jabateh at the time of his arrest, the document shows.
Moorer had graduated from the police academy just four days before the Dec. 9 shooting, according to a police news release. Officials declined to give his first name citing a union agreement, but Moorer's mother confirmed his identity.
Jabateh was arrested Thursday as police were watching him in the 100 block of Orville Road in Essex, near his home. As police attempted to apprehend Jabateh, he ran from them, dropping a handgun, officers said. Police caught him after a brief chase and found a second gun and ammunition in his bag.
Police said Jabateh shot Moorer after the off-duty officer attempted to drive through a large group of people blocking the intersection of Dale Avenue and Danville Road.
Officers were first called to Dale and Kenwood avenues at about 3:30 a.m. Dec. 9, for a large crowd and found the wounded officer nearby.
A witness told police that a party in the 700 block of Dale Ave. had been advertised on social media. The witness told detectives that a fight erupted at the party and that everyone there was asked to leave. About 75 to 100 people left the house, police said.
When Moorer sounded his horn to get the crowd to move out of the road, someone yelled that the man in the car had a gun, and Jabateh fired shots through the door of the officer's 2007 Honda Accord, police said.
Moorer jumped out of his car through the passenger door and the shooter fled, according to the charging document. Officers found him leaning on a parked car with his service weapon lying on the ground nearby. Police have previously said that the Moorer's weapon was also fired twice.
A witness told police that Jabateh regularly carried the gun and had bragged about being willing to shoot someone, according to the charging papers.
Moorer was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center with non-life-threatening injuries and was released the same day.
According to the charging document, one of the bullets fired at Moorer was stuck near his spine. Doctors decided not to remove it immediately, hoping that it will move itself, making surgery easier, the document shows.
Moorer's mother said he had the surgery Friday and is recovering well.
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