A rookie city police officer was treated and released from the hospital yesterday after an intruder at his Northeast Baltimore home fired a blast of shotgun pellets into his head, police said.
Officer Gregory Anthony Jenkins, 35, who graduated from the Police Academy on Friday and who had logged only one night's work at the Southwestern District, apparently surprised a burglar when he opened the door of his home yesterday, police said.
The off-duty officer, carrying a bag of groceries, was shot at point-blank range, police said.
Doctors at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center said they expect him to make a complete recovery. Officer Jenkins left the hospital at 7:30 p.m., waving to a crowd outside and giving a thumbs-up sign.
Police had not answered several nagging questions about the incident last night.
Why was the intruder armed with a shotgun, a bulky weapon that's difficult to conceal?
And why did the gunman chase Officer Jenkins at least 20 feet away from the house before turning and escaping in a green Cadillac?
Police had not made an arrest in connection with the shooting last night.
The gunman was armed with a 20-gauge shotgun loaded with birdshot, police said.
Dr. Philip Militello, clinical director of the Shock Trauma Center, said the officer's wounds won't require surgery.
The surgeon said nearly 60 small pellet fragments, none of which penetrated the skull, will be left in the officer's scalp. The pellets will emerge to the top layer of the skin over time and fall out, he said.
According to police and witnesses, Officer Jenkins had worked the 4 p.m. to midnight shift Sunday and was off Monday and Tuesday.
Yesterday morning, he took his 7-year-old son, Craig, to St. Anthony's parochial school at Frankford Avenue and Belair Road and drove his pregnant wife, Deanna, to her job downtown, police said. The officer told detectives that he did some grocery shopping and returned to his two-story rowhouse in the 5000 block of Truesdale Ave. about 9 a.m.
He said he unlocked the front door, grabbed a bag of groceries and opened the door. As the door swung open, the burglar fired several shots, police said. Stunned and bleeding, the officer staggered across Truesdale Avenue and onto the property of Herring Run Middle School.
At least two students and a teacher witnessed the shooting and alerted school administrators. Office workers opened a side door and admitted the officer.