She was just sitting at a traffic light Wednesday night, on her way home to East Baltimore from a work dinner, when a hail of gunfire erupted around her.
In a blink, Ray Maier went from bystander waiting for the light to change on Fayette Street to injured casualty caught in a clash between Baltimore police and a man they say took a shot at a police officer early Tuesday, tried to run down another officer and spent two days eluding them.
Shortly after the incident, police held a new conference and said an unidentified officer had been struck by gunfire and a civilian had been injured, but both appeared to be in good shape.
“There was a female civilian who was at the corner that we believe was injured, but we don’t know if it was by gunfire, shrapnel, broken glass, but has been treated at the hospital, and we believe is also in good condition," Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a news conference late Wednesday.
But Maier’s sister said the injuries were more severe than portrayed by police.
Maier was struck in the neck, Fries said, and a bullet apparently hit her right hand. Fries visited her sister at Hopkins and said Maier continues to receive treatment after glass from her windshield and other debris struck her in the chest.
Fries said the family believes some of the debris is bird shot, or pellets.
Fries said the family is upset because police never told them that Maier got caught in the gunfire, tjThe family grew concerned when she didn’t respond to messages, and then when she did not show up for work Thursday. Fries began calling hospitals and eventually reached someone at Hopkins who confirmed her sister had been admitted under a pseudonym as a safety precaution.
Fries said she continued to struggle to get information, but eventually the family met Maier at the hospital Thursday. Maier told them that she had to wave to a passing fire engine to get treated and transported to Hopkins.
The night began when Maier, her sister and other employees at their family-owned management company, G & S Association Services, went to dinner at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Horseshoe Casino and headed home after.
Driving west on Fayette Street, near Caroline Street, she was stopped at the traffic light as police officers rushed the area, trapping Maier’s vehicle, her sister said. In addition to being hit by shattered glass, Fries said, her sister was also struck with a bullet in her right hand, which had been on the steering wheel.
Maier said her sister’s index finger was shattered, damaging nerves.
Police have not said how Maier received her injuries, whether she was shot by a bullet and whether her injuries were from an officer’s gun or Banks'.
Harrison said police recovered a gun from Banks at the scene, but he did not know whether Banks fired at officers.
Police spokesman Matt Jablow said that the investigation is ongoing in many aspects, including how Maier was injured. Jablow said police still haven’t determined how many officers fired their weapons and how many shots were fired.
A video of the scene taken by a bystander captured the sound of dozens of bullets being fired.
Harrison has said previously that the number of officers who responded makes it difficult to review all relevant body-worn camera footage.
On Friday Fries questioned why officers opened fire in the middle of a city street.
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“I just thought it was completely reckless. No logical reason at all for that shooting,” Fries said. ”They blocked people in a war zone. My sister is really suffering for it.”
Fries said family members were frustrated because police have not communicated with them.
“They haven’t talked to us at all,” she said on Friday.
Jablow said Tuesday that members of the department have been in contact with Maier. He said homicide detectives met with her four times, beginning with the night of the shooting, the next morning, and again on Sunday and Monday. Additionally Lt. Col. John Herzog, of the department’s detectives division, met with Maier and her brother on Monday, Jablow said.
Police began chasing Banks on Tuesday after they say he fired at a police officer and tried to run over another. A major called off the chase after he pulled his SUV onto Route 295, claiming it was too dangerous. Police found a shell casing from a 9 mm weapon at the first crime scene.