The condition of a Baltimore police officer shot outside his home early yesterday was upgraded from critical to serious after hours of surgery at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a Police Department spokesman said.
Officer Momodu Gondo, 23, who graduated from the police academy in October and had been on the street only two months, was shot twice in the back - one shot damaging his bowel, the other a graze wound, police said.
Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman, said detectives had made no arrest. Police initially attributed the motive to attempted robbery, but Moses said that was a preliminary determination. He would not comment further.
Gondo, who was born in Fort Riley, Kan., graduated from Northern High School in 2000. He is assigned to the Northwestern District.
Police said Gondo was off-duty and arriving at his home in the 5700 block of The Alameda about 12:30 a.m. - stepping out of his private vehicle when he was approached by at least one gunman. Gondo was wearing an overcoat over his uniform and bullet-resistant vest.
Police said Gondo was shot while struggling with a gunman, and managed to pull out his semiautomatic service weapon. "There was return fire," police said, but it was unknown whether the gunman was wounded. Police continued to check hospitals for anyone seeking treatment for a gunshot wound.
Moses said it was not clear whether the bullet that injured Gondo penetrated his vest or hit him in an area that is not protected. "They are saying that the vest probably saved his life," Moses said.
Gondo was conscious and talking when he arrived at Shock Trauma, but spent hours in surgery and in recovery. Moses said it was unclear how much information he has been able to provide to investigators.
He is the third police officer to be shot this year and the second to be attacked near his home.
Officer Robert G. Cirello was shot while patrolling Patterson Park in September; police also credited his vest with saving his life. Officer Dante Hemingway was shot in the neck, chest and stomach in Westport in March when, on his lunch break, he visited a woman he had met and was shot by a man recruited by the woman's jealous lover.
Last month, Sgt. Christopher Nyberg shot two of four people who tried to rob him as he walked toward his home in Federal Hill. Police said Nyberg was held up at knifepoint.