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Officer and suspect wounded by gunfire

The Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore police officer was wounded early yesterday in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect who also was wounded, police said yesterday.

The officer, Jermell Rayam, 26, was one of three patrolmen, along with a sergeant, who were on patrol in the 2300 block of Barclay St. about 12:40 a.m., said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman. The officers came across a group of men in an area known for drug transactions and "saw what they believed was suspected drug activity," Monroe said.

When police went to investigate, the group dispersed, Monroe said, with one man from the group opening fire on the officers. The officers fired back, she said. Rayam suffered a graze wound to a toe. He was treated and released from Mercy Medical Center yesterday, Monroe said.

The other officers, Jason Lee, 27, and Michael Nichols, 36, and the sergeant, whose name was not available, were not injured.

The suspect, a 21-year-old on probation for narcotics violations, suffered wounds to his thigh and ankle, Monroe said. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he remained under guard with injuries that were not life-threatening, Monroe said.

Police have not released the suspect's name because he has not been formally charged, Monroe said. The suspect was arrested on handgun charges June 6, Monroe added.

An investigation to learn which officer shot the gunman continues.

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