Officer released from hospital, but Baltimore police release few details in shootout in which one man died

A city police officer who was involved in a shootout in West Baltimore that left one man dead has been released from the hospital, police said Monday.

Police continue to investigate the shooting, and released few other details Monday. They did not release the name of the suspect or of the officer, who has been identified only as a veteran of the department.

Police on Monday cleared the crime scene and have increased police presence in the Poppleton neighborhood where the shooting occurred.

The incident has also drawn the attention of the independent monitoring team that is overseeing a federal consent decree between the city and the U.S. Justice Department.

“We’re looking at it, looking at incident command staff,” said Kenneth Thompson, the lead monitor, on Monday. He said he responded personally to the shooting Sunday night and spent Monday morning at police headquarters reviewing evidence, including body camera footage.

Thompson declined to provide additional details about the shooting, as police are still investigating. But he said the monitoring team will issue its findings publicly at a later date. The monitoring team previously reviewed the police response to another shooting — the killing of police Detective Sean Suiter and the subsequent locking down of the surrounding Harlem Park neighborhood.

The department did not provide additional information about the Sunday shooting.

“The Police Commissioner will not have an updated press briefing today,” police spokesman T.J. Smith wrote in an email to news media Monday. In response to additional questions from The Baltimore Sun, Smith said, “I am not at liberty to confirm any additional details in reference to the investigation at this point.”

In a brief news conference Sunday night, Interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle said the shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the 800 block of Vine St. in West Baltimore — the same block where two people were shot in the span of just over four hours last week.

A spokesman for Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said the officer was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The man who shot the officer was not a specific target of the operation, Tuggle said. Police did not specify whether the officer or his partner shot the man.

Police have not said what preceded the shooting, other than that the injured officer and his partner were in the neighborhood for a “crime suppression initiative,” Tuggle said Sunday.

By Monday morning, only a few remnants of yellow crime scene tape remained knotted around stair railings on North Fremont Avenue near where the shooting occurred. Some residents passing through the block said they felt frustrated by the continuing violence in the neighborhood.

“It’s just crazy. It’s been like this my whole life. It’s never going to change,” said one man, 31, who declined to give his name because he said he did not want to be associated publicly with the shooting.

Normally, police will take “hours to respond” he said, but officers responded quickly in this shooting.

“They’re actively trying to do their job now,” said the man, as uniformed officers in unmarked, dark Ford SUVs passed the block.

The man questioned how long the added police presence would last and predicted more violence would occur.

“You got people who are afraid to come outside” their homes,” he said.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/janders5

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