A Coppin State University police officer shot and killed a gunman firing upon a car at the edge of campus Tuesday evening, Baltimore police said. Less than an hour earlier, a man was killed in a double shooting in Northwest Baltimore, marking a grim milestone: the city's 300th homicide.
The young man killed by police was firing upon a car occupied with at least two people near Daley Residence Hall on the east edge of campus, police spokesman T.J. Smith said. Police have not identified the man, but say he was not a student.
About 6:20 p.m. the man was riding in a car down Warwick Avenue, which turned onto Windsor Avenue and stopped. Just then the campus policeman came upon the scene in an unmarked car. A passenger got out of the stopped car and opened fire on a car traveling behind him, Smith said.
Seeing the man shooting, the officer opened fire and killed the gunman, Smith said. The two cars sped off. A gun was recovered at the scene.
"The officer happened to be in the right place at the right time," Smith said. "This could have been a run and gun battle that could have ended up on the campus."
Police are looking for both the car the man was shooting at and the one he was riding in.
"That's how much he cared about his friend," Smith said of the driver of the man's car. "He floored it and got the heck out of the area and left his friend on the side of the road to die, which he did."
Meanwhile, the previous shooting — and the city's 300th homicide — happened shortly before 6 p.m. in the West Arlington neighborhood. Officers found two men shot in the 3900 block of Groveland Ave. They were taken to the hospital, where one man died Tuesday night. The victim has not been identified.
It marked the second straight year the city recorded 300 homicides, and only the second time since the 1990s.
"We know we have this number 300 in our city implanted in our heads, and that number of 300 is unacceptable," Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said earlier this week.
Police have closed 37 percent of homicide cases this year. Last year, the homicide closure rate was 30 percent.
At Coppin, police tape encircled the intersection outside the dorm. The officer had been on patrol to catch thieves breaking into student cars on Warwick Avenue.
"He was just on his job, doing his job and came upon this," said Leonard Hamm, the university director of public safety. "We're just thankful that he wasn't injured."
Campus library worker Kevin Carr walked up to the scene with a student. He had locked down the library upon the shooting. Afterward, he escorted the student to her parked car.
"They shot up the car!" the student, who would not give her name, shouted. Her windshield was pierced. "That's off-the chain!"
She had been studying for finals and waited while officers took her information and inspected the damage.
Then she drove back to the library with the broken glass and bullet hole at the bottom of her windshield.
Baltimore Sun reporter Justin George contributed to this report.