Police investigating after Morgan State officer shot at man firing into air after drive-by shooting outside TGI Fridays

Baltimore Police have launched an investigation into a string of gunfire outside the TGI Fridays at Mondawmin Mall on Thursday night that left one man wounded, another in police custody and a Morgan State University police officer being praised for protecting the public.

The gunfire began about 11:30 p.m., when an unidentified 23-year-old man walked out of the restaurant in West Baltimore and was shot in a drive-by shooting, said T.J. Smith, a Baltimore Police spokesman.

Then, as people started filing out of the restaurant, a 27-year-old man among them allegedly started firing a gun into the air, Smith said.

On Saturday, police identified the 27-year-old man as Devin Martin, of the 7200 block of Park Heights Ave. Police recovered the gun and said Martin was taken to Central Booking Intake Center where he was formally charged with firearms violations and assault. He did not have an attorney listed in online court records.

At that time, an off-duty Morgan State University police officer who was also exiting the restaurant took out his service weapon and fired once at the man shooting into the air, missing him, Smith said.

Smith described the scene as “chaotic,” and said the department’s Special Investigation Response Team, which investigates all police shootings, is working with Morgan State Police to investigate the incident.

Chief Lance Hatcher, of the Morgan State police, directed all questions to a university spokesman. The spokesman, Larry Jones, said the officer has been put on routine administrative duties pending the investigation. He referred other questions to Baltimore Police.

Smith said the officer, who he declined to identify, “was in the right place at the right time” and “acted to stop a threat” and “protect and serve” others in the area.

“Luckily, the officer was there to end this scenario, because we don’t know what else was going on.”

The 23-year-old man who was shot was taken by someone to a local hospital, and is expected to survive, Smith said.

Martin, who was allegedly firing into the air, fled the scene after being shot at by the Morgan State police officer but was later caught and arrested by the Morgan officer and a Baltimore Police major working a night shift, Smith said.

Smith said police are investigating whether the 23-year-old man and Martin know each other, or if there is some other connection between the incidents besides their immediate proximity to one another.

“It seems a little too coincidental to think that these two aren’t linked to one another,” but no connection has been determined, Smith said.

No one else was injured.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.

krector@baltsun.com

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