Drug suspect shot in tussle with officer

Maryland

March 10, 2006|By GUS G. SENTEMENTES AND RICHARD IRWIN | GUS G. SENTEMENTES AND RICHARD IRWIN,SUN REPORTERS

A suspected drug dealer was shot in the chest yesterday afternoon during a struggle with an undercover city police officer that broke out as they engaged in a controlled drug transaction in an unmarked police vehicle, police said.

The wounded suspect was hit by another unmarked police vehicle as he attempted to flee. He was in good condition last night at Johns Hopkins Hospital, police said.

The names of the man and the 28-year-old undercover officer who shot him - described as a veteran of nearly seven years on the force - were not divulged.

The officer, assigned to the Organized Crime Division, was seated with the man in the front seat of a Ford sport utility vehicle in the 500 block of N. Linwood Ave., at McElderry Street, about 4:30 p.m. and was engaged in a drug transaction while a female friend of the suspect was in the rear seat, said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman.

The officer was attempting to purchase drugs, said Maj. Richard C. Fahlteich, commanding officer of the department's homicide section, which investigates shootings involving city police officers. He declined to identify the drugs or quantities involved.

"During the transaction, the man observed the undercover officer was wearing a handgun and attempted to get the weapon," Fahlteich said.

In a violent struggle in the front seat, the officer gained control of his weapon and shot the man at least once in the chest, Monroe said.

Seriously injured, the suspect jumped from the SUV and was running south on Linwood Avenue when he was struck by an unmarked police car whose driver was arriving to assist.

With the suspect on its hood, the police car crashed into a parked car, causing the man to fall to the pavement.

The undercover officer had detained the woman in the SUV and arrested her, police said. The woman's name was not released.

Police said the incident might have been recorded on a Police Department surveillance camera less than 50 feet from the intersection.

gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

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