A Baltimore City Police officer shot and killed a male who was firing upon a crowd in retaliation to an earlier dispute that left another male injured, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Monday night.
“This all stems from an argument that turned bad when one person was shot," Harrison said at a brief news conference at the East Baltimore scene hours after the shooting.
Officers were called at 6 p.m. to North Chester Street in the Broadway East neighborhood by a ShotSpotter gun detection system alert and encountered an armed male who “at that time, we believe, had been firing that weapon in this block," Harrison said.
One officer fired upon the male, who was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police did not name the male or provide his age. The officer who shot the male was also not identified.
Harrison said the male shot by the officer was firing upon a group after a previous dispute between two groups.
"There were a group of people in the 1800 block [of Chester Street] who became involved in an argument with a separate group,” and there was a discharging of a firearm, and male shot in the leg, Harrison said. That person is in good condition, he said.
“Because of that, the subject who has expired was running down the street firing at that group who we believe shot that black male subject,” Harrison said.
Harrison said the officer was not injured and an internal investigation is underway, including reviewing body-worn camera footage and CitiWatch footage.
“It does require a full, thorough, complete and competent investigation," he said.
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Deputy Commissioner Brian Nadeau, who oversees the department’s integrity bureau, and Kenneth Thompson, who heads the monitoring overseeing the police consent decree, were also at the scene Monday night.
Harrison said Monday’s incident was the result of the city’s violent culture.
He said the culture of violence is so bad that people are using guns to settle their conflicts.
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The shooting occurred just hours before a statewide stay-at-home order was scheduled to begin, which would prohibit people from leaving their homes for nonessential reasons.
A woman who lives on North Chester Street said she was outside smoking when she witnessed a shooting a block north. She declined to give her name, citing concerns for her safety after recent violence in the area.
“I don’t even let the kids play outside,” she said.
She said she witnessed a man running when he was shot by police, which she said was unnecessary.
“They don’t stop squeezing their trigger for nothing,” she said of the officers.
About two weeks earlier, on March 17, police an officer fired his service weapon after a gunman opened fire and injured seven people in the Madison Park neighborhood. Police have said body-worn camera footage of the incident is still being investigated.
In February, officers fired at and killed Michael Marullo, as they attempted to serve an arrest warrant on him in Northeast Baltimore. Two police officers, one from Baltimore City and one from Baltimore County assigned to the federal task force serving the warrant, were also shot in what appears to be a friendly-fire incident. Police still have not specified how Marullo was shot.