Man wounded in home invasion

Gunman is arrested after 4-hour standoff

January 31, 2008|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Sun reporter

One man was shot yesterday afternoon during what police said was a "home-invasion robbery gone very, very bad" in Harlem Park, and police took a gunman into custody after a standoff that lasted more than four hours.

About 2:30 p.m., members of the Police Department's organized crime division were patrolling in the 1700 block of Harlem Ave. when they heard shooting coming from a three-story rowhouse. They saw a man who had been shot multiple times and several other people outside the house, said Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman.

Harris said the officers immediately called for assistance and pulled the wounded man to safety while requesting an ambulance. He said the man was taken to a hospital that he declined to identify for the victim's safety.

The other people outside were taken into custody, but it was unclear whether they were crime victims or involved in the robbery. They were taken to the Western District station, a few blocks away, for interviews by detectives.

Harris said that after the others had fled the house, a gunman was left inside and refused to surrender.

Police from the Western, Southern, Central, Northern, Eastern, Northwestern and Southwestern districts responded and surrounded the house.

Hundreds of residents within several blocks of the standoff were warned to stay indoors as police took up positions surrounding the house. Crime-scene tape waved in the cold air as residents blocks from the scene peeked out from upstairs windows.

Police said a surgeon from Maryland Shock Trauma Center was dispatched in case anyone in the house had been shot and needed immediate care. At least one city Fire Department ambulance remained on the scene.

After attempts to talk to the gunman, police fired tear gas into the dwelling about 7 p.m. Moments later, officers entered and arrested him without incident.

During the standoff, four nearby schools were placed on lockdown before it was determined that the students could leave early, one school at a time, under school and city police supervision, a city schools official said.

"We didn't want several hundred children walking the streets and their parents coming to get them to possibly be in the line of any fire during the standoff," Harris said.

The schools were Harriet Tubman Elementary in the 1800 block of Harlem Ave. and Harlem Park Elementary-Middle, Augusta Fells-Savage Institute for the Visual Arts and Baltimore Talent Development High School, all of which are in the 1500 block of Harlem Ave.

Sun reporter Brent Jones contributed to this article.

Online

Listen to audio of police dealing with the situation at baltimoresun.com/standoff

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