A letter carrier was shot and critically wounded yesterday while delivering mail in West Baltimore, city police said.
U.S. Postal Service officials said it was the first known shooting of a Baltimore mail carrier.
Detectives said they had few leads and scant information about the shooting of Kevin K. Taylor, 35, who was found bent over in the 300 block of Edsdale Road in severe pain about 11:25 a.m.
A passer-by saw Mr. Taylor and called an ambulance. Mr. Taylor complained of pain in his back and stomach but was unaware that he had been shot, police said.
Paramedics found the bullet wound in his lower right back and took Mr. Taylor to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was in critical condition undergoing surgery last night. Baltimore Postmaster Peter Vitullo was at the hospital with family members late last night waiting for word on the mailman's condition.
"We're just spending some time with the family and saying some prayers for them," Mr. Vitullo said. "I'd like to ask the public to do the same -- to say a prayer for him."
Mr. Taylor, the father of a 21-month-old boy and a resident of West Baltimore, has worked for the Postal Service for 10 years. Postal Inspection Service officers were also investigating the shooting.
A reward of $5,000 has been offered for information about the
shooting, said Irene A. Lericos, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service.
"It's a very tragic and unfortunate situation. It's also extremely rare," Ms. Lericos said. "It's the first time in history that this has happened to a Baltimore City letter carrier."
Baltimore has about 1,650 letter carriers. Crisis counselors were sent to Mr. Taylor's home station, Carroll, which is in the 300 block of S. Loudon Ave.
"This afternoon we had a psychologist sit with the people in the unit that he works," Mr. Vitullo said.
Investigators said they were looking for witnesses to the shooting last night. Anyone with information was asked to call the Postal Service at 1 (800) 654-8896 or 347-4400.