City policeman surprises burglar, is shot in head Officer is taken to Shock Trauma

police comb northeast area for suspect

February 03, 1993|By Roger Twigg and Peter Jensen | Roger Twigg and Peter Jensen,Staff Writers Staff writer Jay Apperson contributed to this article.

An off-duty city police officer was shot in the head this morning as he entered his home in northeast Baltimore, surprising a burglar.

The 34-year-old officer, whose name was being withheld until relatives could be notified, was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The shooting occurred shortly after 9 a.m. when the officer, who was coming off a midnight-to-8 a.m. shift at the city's southwestern district, returned to his home in the 5000 block of Truesdale Ave., near Moravia Road.

Police spokesman Sam Ringgold said the officer had just put down some groceries on his front porch, unlocked and opened the front door when he was fired upon by the burglar, who had a shotgun.

The man, whom police have described as a black male wearing a green coat and blue jeans, fired several shots, at least one of which struck the officer in the head.

The officer staggered out the house and went to Herring Run Middle School, about 200 yards away, where school officials called police and paramedics.

Mr. Ringgold said police were combing northeast Baltimore in search of a suspect and have checked out several people matching the description. No arrests have been made, he said.

Investigators believe the burglar entered the rowhouse through the rear, where a window had been broken out. There also was evidence that the house had been ransacked.

Shock Trauma officials would not immediately release details on the officer's condition, but Mr. Ringgold said he was coherent and talking with doctors at the hospital.

"The fact that the officer was able to walk to the school with a gunshot wound to the head is a good sign," Mr. Ringgold said.

A woman who answered the phone this morning at Herring Run Middle School said the officer ran into a back door to the school, on the Truesdale Avenue side, seeking help.

"One of the teachers spotted him," said the woman. "The school nurse was contacted and she called in to me and told me to call an ambulance."

At least one police car responding to reports of the shooting was broadsided by a car, and three people were injured, including one officer, police said. No other information on the accident was immediately available, although an ambulance was dispatched.

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