|Saturday, March 19, 2011 – Robert Lang, Jenny Glick and the Associated Press|
|A Baltimore police officer was shot in the neck after stopping a man on a bicycle during a sweep of a neighborhood known for violent crime, the city’s police commissioner said late Friday.Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld said three city detectives were patrolling in an unmarked police car about 7:30 p.m. Friday when they spotted a man on a bicycle on Harford Road and became suspicious that he might be armed. After asking the man to stop, one officer exited the passenger side of the vehicle and closed the car door.”When he turned back toward the suspect, the suspect was armed with a silver-colored .32-caliber revolver and opened fire,” Bealefeld said.
Police believe the first shot fired by the man struck the officer. The two other officers returned fire, critically wounding the man, the police commissioner said.
The 30-year-old officer was struck in the neck and the bullet lodged in the officer’s right lung, the commissioner said outside the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he spoke to reporters after visiting the officer along with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The mayor said the detective was in “unbelievably good spirits.”
“I told the parents who were here, they certainly raised a tough son,” the mayor said. “He is alert, he is talking, his family is here and we are very hopeful for a positive outcome.”
Bealefeld said the detectives are part of a violent crimes unit and were patrolling the east Baltimore community because of the frequency of violence there. The police commissioner said the officers were in an unmarked car, but were wearing body armor that indicated they were police officers.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told WBAL News that the officer remains in Shock Trauma, and is expected to survive. he says the suspect is hospitalized in critical condition at Hopkins Hospital.
Guglielmi says the suspect was carrying identification that apparently was not his, so police are still trying to determine the man’s identity.