A Baltimore police detective was carjacked outside a Cherry Hill convenience store Tuesday evening as three suspects stole his unmarked police car and fled the scene, speeding across the Hanover Street Bridge before crashing in Port Covington, officials said.
The stolen black sedan landed upside down after a rollover crash near the entrance of Nick’s Fish House, and officials said two suspects were arrested after fleeing on foot. Police are still searching for a third.
Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the detective discharged his gun during the incident, but that investigators are still working to determine whether any of the suspects also fired a weapon. Harrison said the suspects were armed.
He said neither of the two suspects already in custody was injured in the gunfire. The officer was also uninjured.
Harrison said a gun that likely misfired was collected at the scene.
The detective was not in uniform but had on a polo with the department logo and his badge that “clearly identified him as a police officer,” Harrison said.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said he was grateful the outcome wasn’t worse.
“Clearly when folks are so brazen that they would do this to a police officer, we need to have a community check in on what is happening in our streets, especially with our young people,” the Democratic mayor said. “Everyone needs to hold people accountable.”
The incident unfolded around 6:15 p.m. in the 2800 block of Hanover Street outside a strip mall near Middle Branch Park and MedStar Harbor Hospital — right around the corner from the Baltimore Police Department’s Southern District office. The mall contains a 7-Eleven, a rehab facility, and a meat and seafood restaurant. It sits at the intersection of Hanover and Potee streets, where the two converge before the bridge connecting Cherry Hill to Port Covington.
A Baltimore Sun reporter happened to be in the area Tuesday evening and witnessed the incident from a distance. In the moments before the suspects sped away in the stolen vehicle, a man was heard yelling something inaudible. Then several gunshots rang out. A few moments later, the suspects jumped into a black sedan and exited the parking lot headed toward the Hanover Street Bridge.
Officers quickly swarmed the parking lot and set up a perimeter while a police helicopter circled overhead.
Detectives marked what appeared to be six shell casings in the parking lot and discussed the possibility of obtaining surveillance footage from the nearby businesses.
At the scene of the crash at Cromwell Street and Insulator Drive, the overturned sedan suffered extensive damage, with one of its wheels hanging on by a thread. Police blocked off the area, including the entrance to Nick’s, for hours Tuesday night.
The carjacking occurred less than an hour before a scheduled community policing meeting hosted by Southern District police at their nearby office, where officials were expected to address a recent rise in gun violence in some neighborhoods in the area — particularly Brooklyn, which had four homicides last week alone. The meeting proceeded as planned despite the circumstances, but some district leaders were unable to attend.
Asked about how police are investigating and classifying recent violent incidents, Capt. David Brust mentioned carjackings, which he said “have just exploded” both in Baltimore and other cities.
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