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Police: Man shot and killed after swinging bat at squeegee worker

BALTIMORE -- A 48-year-old man was shot and killed at a busy Inner Harbor intersection after he swung a baseball bat at a squeegee worker following an altercation and someone in the group of squeegee workers opened fire, police said.

According to a preliminary investigation, the driver had a "heated interaction" with squeegee workers at the intersection of Light and W. Conway streets, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

The driver went through the intersection, parked his car, pulled out a baseball bat and walked back toward the group. He swung the bat at "one or more" of the squeegee workers, Harrison.

"In return, one of the squeegee workers pulled out a gun and fired," he said.

The group of squeegee workers fled the scene.

Officers responded to the scene Thursday about 4:38 p.m. The 48-year-old man was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead shortly after arrival, police said.

It's not yet clear if any of the squeegee workers were hit by the driver with the bat, Harrison said.

It's also not known if the person the driver hit or was attempting to hit with the bat is the same person who shot the man, he said.

"It very well could be another person who was in this group who pulled out the gun and fired, striking this victim," Harrison said.

Detectives are already looking through camera footage from the area of the shooting and are asking the public for more video, the commissioner said.

Mayor Brandon Scott said the shooting is a "sad reminder" that confrontations in the city often escalate to violence.

"I want to be very clear – if you are on the streets of Baltimore and endanger the safety of others or turn to violence to solve your problems, we will hold you accountable," he said.

The mayor said his administration will continue efforts to engage windshield washers with city services and resources for more stable employment, deterring "young people and adults from being involved in conduct that puts lives at risk."

In a statement, Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she was "dismayed" by the fatal shooting and said the incident should serve as "a flashpoint" for the entire city.

"There are too many guns on our streets and those who willingly turn to violence as a means of resolving conflicts will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," she said.

In a statement, City Councilman Eric Costello, whose district includes the area of the shooting, said the incident was "tragic" and "preventable."

Police responded to the same intersection earlier in the afternoon for a report of a squeegee worker with a firearm, he said. A pellet gun was recovered and one person was arrested.

"As I said during the public safety hearing yesterday, the level of violence in this city is simply unsustainable," Costello said. "Two lives were destroyed today and one person is dead because we have failed to adequately address this situation. As a government, we have failed everyone here by allowing these circumstances to continue to occur."

He called on police to enforce laws prohibiting window washing "immediately."

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