BALTIMORE – An armed-robbery suspect who boarded a bus in Dundalk to make his getaway opened fire on police who had stopped the vehicle nearby, engaging them in a shocking gunfight and hitting one officer and a female civilian before cops shot him dead Wednesday afternoon, police said.
Both victims are in serious condition, Baltimore County police said in a statement released shortly after 6 p.m. EDT Wednesday. The civilian is expected to survive, police said, but they did not disclose a prognosis for the female officer, who was shot in the leg.
The suspect had not yet been identified, police said in the statement.
Police said officers were dispatched at 2:49 p.m. to Dundalk Avenue and Avon Beach Road in response to a report of an armed street robbery. A male suspect reportedly robbed two people at gunpoint.
When police arrived at the location they were told the suspect had fled the scene on a bus. Police tracked down the bus a few blocks away – in the 3400 block of Dundalk Avenue, near the Logan Village Shopping Center – and surrounded the vehicle.
“When the police responded out here, they were able to locate the MTA bus that they thought was involved,” Baltimore County Police Officer Jennifer Peach said. “They stopped the MTA bus and they engaged the suspect.”
What transpired next seemed more appropriate for a Hollywood soundstage rather than a working-class reighborhood outside Baltimore.
After the suspect reportedly ordered the passengers off the bus, he opened fire on police who were trying to confront him. A video posted on social media by a passenger who escaped from the bus shows the suspect first firing his handgun at police from the door of the bus then later from the rear exit. Taking cover behind their patrol cars, police exchanged gunfire with the suspect for at least three minutes as terrified passengers and bystanders screamed.
The suspect eventually ran off the bus from the rear door, then took cover behind a white van parked nearby on the street. He continuing firing at police, while someone can be seen in the video crouching or lying on the ground near the suspect and the van. It is unclear if that person was injured.
“The officers returned then fire and shot the suspect. One officer was shot in that altercation. The suspect was shot and he is now deceased.”
Police said they soon shot the suspect at least once and he died at the scene.
The injured police officer, whose name was not released, was shot in a leg, police said. She arrived by ambulance at University of Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore around 3:40 p.m.
It is not clear if the civilian who was shot was a bus passenger or a bystander.
The investigation into the incident is continuing. Police said they will review videos from the bus, the shopping center and the officers’ body cameras.
Warning: The video contains graphic language.
Regina Holmes has more than two decades of experience as a journalist –editing and reporting for news dailies including the Miami Herald, Newsday and the Baltimore Examiner.