Two days of anxious searching for a silver SUV and public feuding by Baltimore officials and the police union — sparked by a man who allegedly shot at one officer, tried to run over another and fled — came to a loud, violent conclusion late Wednesday.
Police said they shot and killed Tyrone Domingo Banks, 30, after he led them on a brief chase in East Baltimore shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday. Officers had pursued Banks earlier this week after he allegedly attempted to strike an officer with an SUV on Reisterstown Road and minutes later opened fire at an officer on Pennsylvania Avenue, but supervisors called off the chase, saying it became too dangerous.
Banks has a history of violent confrontations with police, including a wild chase that led to his arrest and conviction in 2015, court records show.
Video of the final moments of Wednesday’s chase shows Banks briefly jumping out of his car, then racing away as more than a dozen police cars closed in. The video, posted on Twitter by a witness, ends with long volleys of gunfire as more cruises arrive.
One officer was shot in the leg but was in good condition, and a woman was also injured, possibly by gunfire or the resulting shrapnel after the exchange, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.
Also Wednesday, a 16-year-old boy was killed and a 14-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy and a woman were injured in a shooting in East Baltimore, and a man was injured in a shooting in South Baltimore.
Harrison said the incidents exemplify Baltimore’s “culture of violence."
“We’re not backing down from it,” Harrison said. “We’re going to find who’s doing this, and we’re going to hold them accountable as well."
More than 700 people have been shot in Baltimore so far this year — with more than 200 killed.
Two veteran officers were shot within the past two months — one who was responding to an active shooter at a methadone clinic and another shot outside his Northwest Baltimore home in an apparent robbery. Wednesday night marked the third time a police officer was struck by a bullet during an especially tense summer.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 president, Sgt. Mike Mancuso, criticized a supervisor’s decision to call off a chase for Banks after the first night’s attack.
“What does this tell the criminal element? What does it tell the officers doing the job every day? Is it any wonder that Baltimore is in the condition it is,” Mancuso said.
The union said in a tweet Thursday morning that the injured officer was released from the hospital.
“He is a hero along with all of the officers involved in last night’s incident,” the tweet said.
In a subsequent Tweet, the union continued to criticize commanders, saying members are “losing faith in our elected and appointed leaders.”
Wednesday’s incident involving Banks began when officers encountered him at Fayette and North Caroline streets near Johns Hopkins Hospital. Officers fired at Banks, who was driving the same silver SUV used during the attacks on the officers Tuesday, Harrison said.
Harrison said he did not know whether Banks fired at officers.
“What we know is that that subject was, in fact, armed. There is a gun that is on the scene that we are recovering,” Harrison said.
After the exchange, Banks got back into his vehicle and drove down Caroline Street as officers chased him, Harrison said.
Banks then stopped at a second location about a block away, where officers opened fire, Harrison said. Banks was pronounced dead at Hopkins hospital.
Police did not name the officer or the injured woman, or provide additional clarity about how she became injured.
Harrison said an internal investigation into the shooting is under way, but the number of officers who responded makes it difficult to review all relevant body-worn camera footage. Police have not said how many officers opened fire.
A Twitter user posted a video that appeared to capture the moments officers first opened fire. A number of cruisers with light and sirens activated speed past, and then bullets can be heard firing over the blaring sirens. As more officers pull up on the scene, more and more bullets can be heard, sounding like fireworks erupting.
Warning: The tweet below contains profane language.
Janet Anderson, 53, said she awoke to “pop, pop, pop” noises outside her East Fairmount Street home.
When the gunfire stopped, she looked out her window and saw officers running down the street.
“I heard the helicopter, and I didn’t know if they were still going to keep shooting,” she said. “I didn’t know if I was going to end up being a target or if someone was still on the loose.”
Anderson said she only slept for an hour last night amid the commotion from the crime scene and worries about the neighborhood.
“I hope what happened last night is over,” she said. “It took my peace of mind away.”
Harrison said there were two warrants for Banks’ arrest.
Police had been searching for Banks since early Tuesday when, Harrison said, he attempted to strike an officer who had stopped a car in the 2400 block of Reisterstown Road. Three minutes later, an officer patrolling a little over a mile away saw Banks’ SUV at an intersection in the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Ave. and attempted to stop him, police said.
As the officer began to approach the SUV, the driver got out of the car and fired a handgun, police said. The officer was able to back his patrol car away in time to not get hit, Harrison said.
Banks then fled and officers pursued his SUV, but a police major called off the pursuit once officers reached southbound Route 295.
While the hunt for Banks is over, the union and city officials are not ending their battle. Union leaders have been feuding with Harrison over his crime plan and other decisions he has made.
The union said it plans to issue its own crime plan in the next 30 days and give it to Harrison, the mayor and the governor.
“Unlike the ‘current plan,' our strategy will be based on the vast knowledge and experience of current and former members of the Baltimore Police Department,” the statement said, criticizing a plan Harrison issued.
Harrison was appointed to the job after serving most of his career in the New Orleans police department. In the little more than six months on the job, Harrison has hired four outsiders to key positions in the department.
“It’s unnecessary,” Lester Davis, a spokesman for Mayor Jack Young, said of the FOP plan. “The commissioner has a thoughtful plan that’s based on hundreds of hours of research and best practices. It’s been lauded universally.”
Gov. Larry Hogan said the incident was another example of police officers in the city being “under attack.”
He noted the case of Sgt. Isaac Carrington, who was shot while off duty in an attempted robbery, as well as the officers who were shot at and nearly run over on Tuesday.
Hogan, a Republican, said the level of violence, particularly against police officers, is “unacceptable” and “outrageous.”
“We’re hearing these kinds of stories nearly every day, and it’s something that nobody should think is acceptable in any way,” he said Thursday morning in Howard County.
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Hogan said he continues to work with the mayor and police commissioner on ways the city and state can act to stem the violence. He said there may be ways the state could do more and hinted at additional state funding. He also said he’s suggested ways for Baltimore’s criminal justice system to be more accountable, but he did not detail specifics.
“We’re going to continue to try to push them to do things that we think are important,” he said.
Baltimore Sun reporters McKenna Oxenden, Lillian Reed and Pamela Wood contributed to this article.