'I Was Shocked': Baltimore Police ID Shooting Spree Suspect Killed By Off-Duty Officer
BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- For a little more than 60 minutes on Saturday, Baltimore City Police say an armed suspect went to three separate locations and shot three victims.
Authorities said the first shooting happened shortly after 2 p.m., but within an hour, three were shot and two of those were fatal.
One of the victims killed was 33-year-old Rafael Jeffers. Police say he was inside his barbershop on O'Donnell Street Saturday afternoon when the suspect, Carlos Ortega, walked in and killed him.
An off-duty officer was present in the shop at the same time the shooting unfolded. Police say the officer pulled out his gun and killed the suspect.
"I was shocked," said Jerry Kempa of Baltimore. " I think it was great that the police officer was in there, because if he wasn't in there how many more people he would've shot?"
Police say the violence started on East Oliver Street Saturday afternoon after the suspect allegedly shot and injured the first victim after an argument.
Police believe Ortega then went towards another barbershop near Eastern Avenue and Newkirk Street and killed 44-year-old Javier Cotto as he stood outside.
Baltimore City Police are still trying to figure out why all three of these incidents happened and if there are any deeper connections.
"Our hearts go out to the victims and their families who lost their lives very unnecessarily," said Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. "And this is what we've been talking about for so long, conflict and people solving their conflict with violence mainly gun violence ."
WJZ has learned that one of the victims, Rafael Jeffers, owned his barbershop and was from the Dominican Republic.
People who knew him told WJZ he has a wife and daughter and described him as a hard worker who was in the shop six days a week.
"I can't imagine. I have a young daughter and just I can't imagine losing them as they are trying to work hard to make a living," one neighbor told WJZ.
Officials said this case is being classified as an officer-involved shooting. Commissioner Michael Harrison said the state Attorney General's office will assist with the investigation as it is required under state law.
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