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Baltimore Police release body-camera video of officer shooting 17-year-old in Shipley Hill neighborhood

Baltimore Police release body-camera video of officer shooting 17-year-old boy in Shipley Hill
Baltimore Police release body-camera video of officer shooting 17-year-old boy in Shipley Hill 03:25

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Police released on Tuesday the body-worn video from when an officer shot a 17-year-old boy last week in the Shipley Hill neighborhood.

Police said an armed 17-year-old boy, identified by his family as Mekhi Franklin, was shot near an alleyway on Catherine Street while running from officers in Baltimore's Shipley Hill neighborhood around 1:30 p.m. on May 11. 

Police identified the officer who opened fire as Detective Cedric Elleby, who has been a member of the BPD since 2019.

The video shows Detective Elleby sitting on a stoop next to Franklin but there is no audio until just before the foot pursuit. Family members and neighbors have said officers had been "harassing" the teen. The video does not show how the encounter began.   


Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the officer was in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhood engaging with residents before a foot pursuit happened.

"Until the behavior escalated, it caused the officer to heighten his attention, and then you saw the pursuit," Harrison said.

Harrison said the officer saw what he believed was a gun and approached the teen before he took off.

Attorney General will not investigate Baltimore Police shooting of 17-year-old at this time 02:31

"There are a number of things that are taught in training for officers to observe particularly bulges, the way the person stands or swings their arms or the shift in body stance," Harrison said. "It is the way they adjust their arms to either keep the firearm from falling or to support it and keep it up. And sometimes they are fidgeting with something in their pocket."

The video appears to show the 17-year-old boy pulling something out of his waistband and dropping it on the sidewalk after he was shot by Elleby during the foot chase after refusing the officer's commands.

Harrison said police recovered a stolen 9mm Smith & Wesson with an extended magazine with four rounds.

He said the weapon the teenager had was stolen from a vehicle in the Western District two years ago.   

"What we know is that this officer believed this person was armed and the subject fled and the officer felt the need to give pursuit," Harrison said. "The officer observed him pull out the gun, just as you did, and the officer discharged his weapon."

Harrison said the officer fired at least four shots, and Franklin was struck once. His condition has been upgraded from critical to stable.

"The decision to use deadly force is always based on the need—reasonable, proportionate and necessary—and the officer has to determine that in a second," Harrison said about police use of force.  

Franklin's mother told WJZ the officer shot her son twice.   

Officer Elleby has not yet been interviewed for the investigation. 

Franklin's mother told WJZ he had past interactions with her son and questions remain about what led up to the encounter.

The detective has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Harrison said the department does not yet have all the answers it seeks but understands the high level of scrutiny involving the incident. 

Harrison said the Shipley Hill neighborhood is a focal point for police because it is a "historically violent area."

"This area is a focused area to provide greater visibility and better response times with the goal of deterring and preventing violent crime in this historically violent area," he said.

Harrison said that just in the past 28 days in the neighborhood, officers have responded to more than 150 calls for service, for assault, armed people, burglaries, disorderly persons and drugs.

Baltimore Police release body-camera video of officer shooting teenager. 03:03

Recently, officers walked with community members and discussed concerns about illegal dumping, boarded-up homes, and removing illegal cars from the streets.

Harrison said the police department and the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office are investigating this shooting.

"We understand the high level of scrutiny that comes with any use of force by our officers or any law enforcement officers. We do not take that scrutiny lightly," Harrison said. "While we do not have all information today, our office is committed to doing a thorough, transparent investigation along with our State's Attorney's Office."

Elleby is a member of a District Action Team, one of the Baltimore Police Department's specialized units that focus on proactive patrols, warrant apprehension and other measures in areas of Baltimore where gun violence is most frequent. 

The Maryland Attorney General's office told WJZ Friday it will not be investigating the shooting at this time.  

One witness who spoke to WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren—and declined to give his name for security reasons—said the officer was harassing the teenager. 

Franklin's mother also told WJZ the officer had been harassing her son. Harrison said there is no past record of formal complaints. 

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren asked the commissioner whether it has been determined whether the teen was shot in the back. Harrison responded to him by saying that "it's unknown or undetermined right now which one of those entries is the entry wound and which one is an exit wound."

You can watch the entire video police released here

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