A Baltimore Police officer shot and wounded an armed teenager Saturday afternoon only to find out the boy’s weapon was a replica gun, the police commissioner said.
Commissioner Michael Harrison said two officers were patrolling Erdman Avenue in Northeast Baltimore shortly before 5 p.m. when they came upon the 16-year-old holding what appeared to be a gun. Harrison said the boy was engaged “in some type of incident.”
At least one of the officers fired and shot the boy in his arm. The police department released the boy’s age Sunday.
“It appears the gun on the ground was some type of replica,” Harrison said.
The commissioner said he couldn’t immediately say what sort of replica.
The boy was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening, a police spokeswoman said.
The encounter happened in the 3900 block of Erdman Ave. and across from the Erdman Shopping Center in the Belair-Edison neighborhood.
“It was like, ‘Pop! Pop! Pop!,’” neighbor Pamela Harvey said. “I’m thinking there were three to four [shots].”
The incident comes almost four years to the day that a city officer shot a 14-year-old boy who he believed was carrying a semiautomatic pistol in East Baltimore. Dedric Colvin, the eighth grader, was carrying a BB gun. He was shot in his shoulder and leg and recovered.
In that case, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby conducted a routine investigation and found the officer’s actions reasonable and that the boy turned to face police “with what appeared to be a real gun” pointed at them.
That incident launched city lawmakers on an effort to ban toy and replica guns within Baltimore. They banned an imitation firearm that “because of its color, size, shape, or other characteristics, can reasonably be perceived to be a real firearm.”
Under the law, police can seize replica guns without a warrant. Anyone possessing them may be fined.