Officer, reveler hurt in shooting

City police tried to stop man who fired bullets in air on New Year's Day

January 02, 2004|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore police officer was shot in the hip early yesterday after trying to stop a reveler from firing a handgun in a misbegotten New Year's Eve celebration in East Baltimore.

The suspect was shot in the shin during an exchange of bullets after police asked the man to drop his weapon, police said. The officer and the gunman were treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, and neither man's wounds appeared to be life-threatening.

"The officer is in stable condition; the suspect is in stable condition," said Baltimore police Sgt. Clifton McWhite.

The suspect's name was not released yesterday, and no charges have been filed. He was being held at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The shootings occurred shortly after midnight in the 900 block of Montford Ave. in the Milton-Montford neighborhood. The officer - John Dolly, a four-year veteran assigned to the Eastern District - came upon the reveler while responding to another call, McWhite said.

"The individual was [firing in the air] for New Year's Eve," McWhite said. When officers asked the man to stop, he ran and shot at police, he said.

"A foot pursuit ensued, and there was a running gunbattle," he said.

Dolly was shot in the right hip, just below his soft body armor.

Several officers returned fire and the suspect was shot in the leg, McWhite said. It was unclear yesterday whether Dolly or one of the four other officers on the scene shot the suspect, he said.

Between 7 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. yesterday, police received more than 200 calls about gunshots fired. Forty-five guns were seized, and 33 people were arrested on gun-related charges, said patrol Chief Carl Gutberlet.

New Year's Eve gunfire has been a perennial problem in Baltimore, with authorities frequently expressing concern about the risks.

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