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Baltimore Police officer shoots and wounds a man on The Block overnight; commissioner says man pointed gun at crowd, officer

Police Commissioner gives details on a shooting in the early morning in the 400 block of E. Baltimore St.

Baltimore Police shot and wounded a man on The Block overnight Thursday while helping to close the strip clubs for the night, saying the man pulled a gun during a fight with some women and pointed it at the officer.

The man was hospitalized with injuries that were considered not life-threatening, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

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Harrison addressed news reporters at the scene, saying he watched an officer’s body camera footage and that the man drew a gun during the fight, took off running from police, then turned back toward officers with his weapon. Police did not say the man fired.

“Once again, this speaks to the amount of guns that are unlawfully in our city,” Harrison said, “and the willingness of individuals to illegally carry those guns and then willingness to use those guns. Many people could have been hurt.”

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It was the second time Baltimore Police shot someone this week. On Monday, police fatally shot 40-year-old Marcus Martin after a six-hour standoff at a home in Northeast Baltimore.

Thursday’s police shooting happened around 1:45 a.m. outside Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in the 400 block of East Baltimore St.

Harrison said officers were on routine assignment to help close down the nightclubs when they saw the fight involving the man and a group of women at the corner of East Baltimore and Holliday streets. One officer headed over when the man pulled a gun and “pointed it at the group and at the officer,” Harrison said.

The women scattered. The officer chased the man with the gun down East Baltimore Street.

“About halfway into the next block the suspect turned around toward the officer, who fired multiple times at the suspect, striking him,” Harrison said. “That suspect fell to the ground and his firearm displaced several feet away from his body.”

Police officers treated the man before the ambulance arrived and took him to Shock Trauma. The commissioner did not identify the wounded man, but said he was headed into surgery. The officer was not injured.

Harrison called it “a brazen act,” noting that the man pulled the gun one block from police headquarters in the very presence of officers in uniform.

“This speaks to No. 1 the prevalence of guns and the willingness to use them, and the lack of fear of consequences,” he said. “This suspect, who has been shot, will face consequences for his actions — not just for carrying an illegal gun, but for pointing that gun at people.”

Mayor Brandon Scott arrived at the scene and said he was grateful more people weren’t hurt.

“In no circumstance is it OK for a grown man to point a gun at a group of people, let alone a group of women,” the mayor said. “This could have been — and I’m very grateful to the work of our police officers — a shooting of multiple people by someone who wanted to resolve a conflict in the way of pulling out a gun. … We cannot have people pointing guns at people.”

A police spokeswoman said the department would not provide more information Thursday.

Returning to The Block to reopen the clubs Thursday afternoon, some workers said they weren’t surprised to hear of the overnight police shooting. Some said men who are neither employees nor customers of the nightclubs hang around on The Block all night long and cause trouble.

Some nightclub staff told The Baltimore Sun they only heard several gunshots and saw the crowd scatter.

Mayor Brandon Scott, in blue top, and police commissioner Michael Harrison, at right, join other officials inside the crime scene on Baltimore and Holliday streets Thursday morning around 4:45 p.m.
Mayor Brandon Scott, in blue top, and police commissioner Michael Harrison, at right, join other officials inside the crime scene on Baltimore and Holliday streets Thursday morning around 4:45 p.m. (KARL MERTON FERRON/BALTIMORE SUN)
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