City police shot a robbery suspect last night after he apparently tried to shoot his way into a South Baltimore home occupied by a sleeping 2-year-old boy and the toddler's frightened mother and grandmother.
The suspect - an unidentified man described as in his 20s - was shot several times as he stood on the rear deck of the house in the 1300 block of Patapsco St. He was reported in stable condition early today at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
"We heard all kinds of noise on the deck, and when I opened the rear door, this man was standing there with a gun in his hand," said the mother, Angella Faimanifo, 35, a waitress at a South Baltimore Italian restaurant.
She said the man dropped his weapon, then picked it up and fired several shots into her home while trying to force his way in. "It was crazy with cops running all over the place and the police helicopter flying over the houses," she said.
At least two bullets hit the bathroom wall, she said.
The gunfire erupted after a man was robbed about 10 p.m. at the nearby intersection of Charles and Barney streets by a gunman who fled on foot.
The victim, driven around the neighborhood in a police car, pointed out the suspect in the 1300 block of S. Charles St., said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman.
With police chasing on foot, the suspect ran east on Ostend Street for half a block and down the 1300 block of Patapsco St. He climbed a fence behind the Church of the Advent, then scaled another church fence and climbed onto the rear deck of the rowhouse occupied by Faimanifo and her family and tried to enter her kitchen, according to police and the woman's account.
Faimanifo said her mother fled into a nearby room, while her son was sleeping in another room, out of the line of fire.
She said as the man tried desperately to get into her home, several police officers confronted him on the deck.
"I heard one officer telling the man more than once to drop the gun before I heard all kinds of shots being fired," Faimanifo said.
Monroe said more than one officer fired at the man, hitting him multiple times.
Faimanifo said she saw the man fall onto her deck after he was shot in the upper body and that he appeared to be dead. Near the man was a large-caliber handgun, she said.
"There was gunsmoke in the air, and I grabbed my video camera to record what happened," she said.
Police confiscated the camera and the shaky images she had recorded and showed to reporters.
"I'm a wreck and probably won't be able to sleep after all of this," Faimanifo said.