BALTIMORE – A gunman fleeing police in a car and shot wildly at officers and pedestrians on a stretch of Baltimore on Friday, he led the cruisers in a desperate chase that looped through the streets of the city for at least 20 minutes before he was taken prisoner.
Live helicopter shots of the WJZ-TV showed a beat-up gray sedan recklessly dodging between the cars on the narrow streets and residential neighborhoods of West Baltimore with police cars traveling behind. The suspect car flew on Friday by traffic lights, narrowly missing pedestrians and clipping at least one vehicle.
Commissioner of police, Kevin Davis later said the shooter fired a total of five shots during his chaotic journey.
“He is a danger to a whole city today by his recklessness with two guns,” Davis told reporters, adding that the incident was “completely crazy.”
A pedestrian was hit in the leg. A motorist was shot in the upper body and is in the hospital with a life-threatening injury. A police officer who initially pulled the defendant over was shot during the chase, but was apparently not hit.
A passenger in the critically injured driver of the car suffered from a cardiac arrest and is in a hospital, police said.
If the defendant’s car rolled to a stop at an intersection, a person ran up to him and grabbed him in a bear hug. They rolled on the ground before being surrounded by the police. T. J. Smith, police chief spokesman, said that the person who ran to the car as the officers moved, was the suspect’s girlfriend.
“Fortunately she was not injured,” Smith tweeted, adding that the suspect and his girlfriend “had been to communicate with each other” during the chase.
An officer is receiving treatment for a “significant damage” to one of his legs, but Davis said he was not clear as to how that injury was sustained. He claimed that his officers did everything right during the chaos and with “great courage.”
The police seized weapons and an assault-style rifle from the suspect car.
Davis described the suspect as a 30-year-old man from Baltimore, who the police believe was a gunman responsible for a late Thursday triple shooting that resulted in the death. They also believe that he was behind a non-fatal shooting in Baltimore last week.
A number of residents were glued to their computers, phones or televisions during the chase on the television broadcast. Some were shocked, but others made the madness in stride.
“That is certainly crazy. But you know, it’s kind of just another day in Baltimore,” said Andrea White, a title agent who works at a company not far from where the chase concluded.
David McFadden on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dmcfadd