Officer shot in West Baltimore

A Baltimore police officer was in stable condition Monday morning after being shot during a traffic stop at an intersection near Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore, police said.

The officer, who has been on the force for about three years, was "doing well" but remained in surgery when Police Commissioner Anthony Batts addressed the media at Sinai Hospital around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. By midnight, he was out of surgery and recovering at the hospital, police said.


Batts said the officer was shot once and that a gun was recovered and three people were in custody. City State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein would not say if any of the suspects had been charged.

The shooting comes just hours after hundreds marched city streets to demonstrate in the wake of two high-profile deaths of individuals in police custody. Batts said the timing of this shooting was not lost on him against the backdrop of the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.


"We've had marches nationwide over the fact that we have lost lives in police custody," Batts said. "I wonder if we'll have those same marches as officers are shot, too."

The shooting took place at about 7:15 p.m. Sunday in the 2600 block of Gwynns Falls Parkway, police said. Police did not describe the exact circumstances that led to the incident, and the department did not say whether the officer fired his service weapon. Batts said three city police officers and an officer from Coppin State University were involved.

Dr. Lisa Kirkland, a Sinai doctor who treated the injured officer, said he was brought by his partner to the North Baltimore hospital with one gunshot wound. Batts declined to specify where in his body he was shot.

Batts declined to identify the officer but said he was a three-year veteran on the force whose family lives out of state. He said police would refrain from identifying the injured officer until his family arrived and could see him.

Police said late Sunday that the officer was in stable condition, surrounded by family and friends. Police also noted that Batts, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Councilman Nick Mosby, as well as several co-workers, remained at the hospital.

Just after the shooting, police cars blocked off a crime scene at the intersection of Gwynns Falls and Tioga parkways. A silver vehicle was visible inside the area, with its front two doors open and a police car parked behind it with its lights on.

Baltimore Office of Emergency Management said the Gwynns Falls Parkway is blocked between Braddish Avenue and North Pulaski Street, and Tioga Parkway is blocked at Fairview Avenue.

The scene is directly adjacent to Mondawmin Mall.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked for the community's prayers as the officer is treated for his injuries.

Councilman Brandon Scott, vice chair of the City Council public safety committee, said he was still awaiting details of the events that transpired Sunday, but his thoughts went immediately to the officer and the officer's family.

"You put them and their family in your thoughts," Scott said. "You hope and will and pray that that person will be all right and that justice will be served. We have to realize that guns and violence are something that is a plague to not only Baltimore City but to this country. People are dying every day. And for someone who risks their life every day to get shot over something as simple as a traffic stop highlights how far we have to go as a society."

"... When it's a first responder, it blows peoples' minds," Scott said. "It happens too often in our town, period. We have to root out the people who seemingly have no care and value for lives."


Sunday's incident marked the second time this year that a Baltimore officer was shot. In March, Sgt. Keith Mcneill was shot and critically wounded outside an auto repair shop in East Baltimore while he was off duty. Mcneill, an officer for about two decades, was the first city officer shot in three years.

Gregg Thomas was charged in the March shooting and has since been indicted on federal drug and weapons charges. Batts pledged at the time to hold anyone involved in Mcneill's shooting accountable.

Plainclothes officer William H. Torbit Jr. was killed by friendly fire during a fight outside a downtown nightclub in 2011. Torbit was shot by officers, who didn't recognize that he, too, was a member of the police force.

Elder Cortly "C. D." Witherspoon, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has been outspoken on the matter of police brutality in the wake of Brown's death in Missouri. Sunday night, he offered the following statement: "We join the faithful around the City of Baltimore praying for the swift, and speedy recovery of the now unknown wounded officer. We pray that God dispatches a legion of Angels to act on his behalf. We have the same care, and concern for him, as we have for the victims of Police Terror, and their families. We applaud the Mayor, Commissioner, and States Attorney for standing beside the officers family during this difficult time, and hope that share the same level of compassion for the victims of Police Terror. We are united in our opposition to violence, whether it's Police Involved Shootings, or Police Terror. We have never seen the Mayor, Police Commission, and States Attorney stand with citizens, as we stand with the families of the victims of Police Terror. We believe that human life has value, and that one life lost is too many, officer or civilian #alllivesmatter"

Baltimore Sun reporter Yvonne Wenger contributed to this story.



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