An Anne Arundel County police officer was shot in the upper body yesterday morning during a running struggle with a man in South Baltimore's Brooklyn neighborhood, but he was saved from serious injury by his bullet-resistant vest, according to a county police spokesman.
The 30-year-old officer, a four-year veteran whose name was not released, was rushed to Maryland Shock Trauma Center as a precaution, and was treated and released later in the day, county police said.
A suspect was quickly arrested in the 6:30 a.m. shooting and was questioned by police detectives, and charges were pending last night.
Sgt. John Gilmer, a spokesman with the Anne Arundel County Police Department, said officers responded to the 400 block of Audrey Ave. in the county for a report that a group of men were inside a stolen car.
While en route, they got another call that the men were ransacking the car. Officers went up Audrey Avenue and stopped a man for questioning near Sixth Street in Brooklyn, in the city, who fit a description given by a witness.
The man became combative, and the officer shot him with a stun device, Gilmer said. He continued to struggle, Gilmer said, and pulled out a gun and fired at the officer, hitting his vest covering the upper body. Gilmer said the officer returned fire, but it was not immediately clear if the suspect was hit.
Gilmer said the gunman was arrested. It could not be determined what kind of gun was used or how far the suspect was from the officer when he was shot.
Officer Nicole Monroe, a city police spokeswoman, described the incident as a foot chase between Anne Arundel County officers and the suspect, who was taken into Baltimore police custody. City homicide detectives, who handle all police-involved shootings, are in charge of the investigation.
Several streets in the Brooklyn neighborhood were blocked off with crime scene tape as county and city police officers and crime lab technicians scoured the area for evidence. Shell casings could be seen in two areas on Audrey Avenue and in an alley between Sixth Street and Brooklyn Avenue.
Police cadets from Anne Arundel County were bused to the scene to help search for evidence. They lined up in a long, straight line and canvassed the front yards of homes in the 3900 block of Brooklyn Ave. and searched in bushes, poked through grass and peered under parked cars.
Jerry Brown, 32, said he awoke to sounds that he thought were gunshots and then heard tires squealing. He got out of bed and went to the bathroom and heard sirens. He returned to bed and awoke an hour later to see police officers in front of his house. He said he told his wife: "I told you it was gunshots."
"They got the whole neighborhood shut down," Brown added while sitting on his front porch. "My wife needs to go to work."
Allan Board, 65, said he wasn't surprised by the shootout. "It's a shame. Brooklyn's always been a blue-collar neighborhood," said Board, an artist. "There are nice people here, but there's a bad element that's moved in."