Cops: Suspect opened fire at random during Baltimore police chase

Last Updated Dec 15, 2017 6:23 PM EST

BALTIMORE – Police say a suspect fired randomly from his car during a dramatic Baltimore police chase Friday, striking and wounding two people. An officer also sustained a "significant leg injury" before police say the suspect's girlfriend pulled him out of the car and police took him into custody, though it's not clear how the officer was injured.

"This could have been much, much worse," Baltimore police commissioner Kevin Davis said at a Monday afternoon press conference.


Baltimore Police arrest a suspect following a car chase through city streets Friday


Davis and police spokesman T.J. Smith say that before the chase, the 30-year-old suspect was being sought in a triple shooting Thursday night, in which one person died, and another non-fatal shooting last week.  An officer who recognized the suspect and the car he was driving pulled the vehicle over late Friday morning in northwest Baltimore. The suspect at first complied, but then opened fire, firing at at least two officers but not striking them. An officer returned fire. No one was struck, and the suspect sped off, beginning the pursuit, Davis said.

As police pursed him, the suspect opened fire from his car apparently at random at people on the street, Davis said. He first struck and wounded a man in the leg, and next fired at two men, but they weren't struck, according to Smith.

The suspect then shot another man who was in a car, striking him in the upper body and leaving him in "very critical" condition, Smith said. That victim has since been stabilized, according to Smith. A passenger in the victim's car wasn't struck, but went into cardiac arrest.

The suspect's car sped through traffic lights during the chase, narrowly missing pedestrians and colliding with at least one vehicle as seen in dramatic video captured by a CBS Baltimore news helicopter. The vehicle's back bumper at one point came unhinged and could be seen dragging behind the car.

Smith later said via Twitter that officers learned during the pursuit that the suspect was in contact with his girlfriend, who was asking him to surrender, and the two agreed to meet near Gwynns Falls parkway and Reistertown road. The girlfriend likely knew the suspect was pulling up to that intersection and she ran to the car when it approached and pulled him out.

She can be seen on video tackling the suspect and holding him down as officers swarmed the suspect and made the arrest, around noon. The girlfriend wasn't injured, Smith said.

The car, which was still in gear, continued moving and ran into a curb before coming to a stop.

The suspect's name hasn't been released. No one else was in the car with him, police say. Investigators uncovered two guns, a handgun and an assault-style rifle, which Davis said were likely not obtained legally.

Smith says police are investigating at least a half a dozen crime scenes across the city as well as numerous vehicle accidents that may be related to the chase, which lasted about 20-30 minutes and spanned much of west Baltimore. 

Davis said the suspect "potentially jeaopardized the entire city today due to intentional recklessness with two guns."

"It's absolutely insane, absolutely crazy," Davis said. "What possessed the guy to do this? I have no idea. Obviously he's someone we want off the streets."