City officer fatally shoots gang suspect

Police say man fled during questioning, brandished a gun

April 29, 2007|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,Sun reporter

A Baltimore officer shot and killed a suspected gang member early yesterday morning in West Baltimore after he ran away from police and drew a small-caliber revolver, according to police.

The officer, an 11-year veteran who was not identified, initially responded to another officer's call for assistance about 12:10 a.m. at the corner of Smallwood Street and West North Avenue, said Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

The other officer had encountered a group of six to eight men, all wearing red T-shirts and red bandanas, and sought to question the men about suspected gang activity, Moses said. Red is a color often associated with the Bloods gang.

The victim, who was not identified, fled down an alley before brandishing a weapon, police said. He was shot several times, including a fatal shot to his upper left torso, and was transported to Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:44 a.m., Moses said.

Police said the man did not fire his gun at officers and the weapon was fully loaded when it was recovered. His identity was not released pending verification through fingerprints.

The officer has been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation by the department's homicide and internal affairs units.

There were 20 police-involved shootings in Baltimore last year, Moses said. Yesterday's was the 11th police shooting this year, he said.

Two off-duty officers fatally shot a man April 5 while breaking up a robbery attempt at Fantasies Nightclub in South Baltimore. On Jan. 31, an 18-year-old man was fatally shot by police who surrounded a Northwest Baltimore residence and tried to arrest him as he brandished a gun, police said. Police said he was among three people burglarizing the home.

Last month, the parents of a 14-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a police officer in his Southwest Baltimore house last year filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against the officer. Relatives of Kevin Cooper, who was shot Aug. 12, contend that a city police officer antagonized the boy and provoked a fight that ended in violence.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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