Baltimore Police give an update about the incident in which a Coppin State University police officer shot and killed a gunman firing upon a car at the edge of campus Tuesday evening. (Kevin Rector/Baltimore Sun video)
Video released Friday by Baltimore police shows a Coppin State University police officer on routine patrol suddenly finding himself in the middle of a gun attack — and firing back — at a West Baltimore intersection on the edge of campus Tuesday evening.
City police identified the man who was fatally shot by the officer as Lavar Montray Douglas, 18, of the 2400 block of Druid Hill Ave. They did not identify the officer, who was not injured.
Coppin Police Chief Leonard Hamm said the officer, who is on routine administrative duty pending the conclusion of an investigation into the shooting by city police, has been on the university police force for 14 months after transferring from a metropolitan police department in the state. Hamm did not identify where the officer transferred from.
Hamm said he did not know when the officer's name would be released, and that he was withholding it on the advice of university counsel and Attorney General Brian Frosh's office. The officer had not provided a statement about the incident as of Friday, Hamm said.
Hamm, a former city police commissioner, praised the officer for his quick thinking during the incident.
"I don't know if I would have been able to have the presence of mind to stop somebody from doing what they were doing, call for an ambulance, call for assistance and preserve that crime scene," Hamm said. "That's what that officer did."
The video shows a vehicle that Douglas was allegedly riding in turn right onto Windsor Avenue from Warwick Avenue and come to a stop in the middle of the street about 6:20 p.m. It shows the officer begin to make the same turn in an unmarked vehicle before finding his path forward blocked.
Suddenly, a man runs right past the officer's vehicle and into the middle of the intersection. The man, whom police identified as Douglas, then opens fire on a third vehicle before beginning to run back to the first vehicle, police said.
The officer then steps out of his vehicle and opens fire, police said.
Hamm said the shooting and the officer's reaction occurred "in a matter of seconds."
T.J. Smith, a police spokesman, said city homicide detectives are continuing to investigate the shooting.
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Police still are trying to identify a second individual who was in the vehicle with Douglas, he said. Police are also seeking the vehicle that Douglas allegedly shot at and anyone who was in it. No one has been identified as having been injured in that shooting, Smith said.
Asked about the coincidence of the officer suddenly witnessing a shooting so close to him, Smith shook his head.
"The video speaks for itself," he said.
Charges against Douglas of armed robbery, assault and various gun charges had been dropped, and other gun charges were remanded to juvenile court, in 2015. He was due in court in January on various drug charges filed this year.