facebook

Detective shot in leg at garage a block from police headquarters

A Baltimore City homicide detective was shot in the leg about a block from police headquarters Tuesday night.

The plainclothes detective was shot a little after 9 p.m. in a parking garage in the unit block of South Frederick Street, Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said. The unidentified 13-year police department veteran was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center with a graze wound to his left thigh, an injury not considered life-threatening, he said.

The detective was in the garage to get something out of his car when a man approached with a small-caliber revolver, Bealefeld said. When the detective saw the gun, he pulled his service weapon. The gunman shot the officer, who fell and also hit his shoulder, the commissioner said. The officer also fired his weapon, but it’s unclear who fired first and whether the gunman was hit, he said.

The officer is recovering at the hospital and is with his wife, Bealefeld said.

The parking garage is open to the public but police officers in the Central District often use the building, which is a block from the station, to park their off-duty vehicles.

Bealefeld said police were still searching the garage for the gunman and were examining security camera footage. Bealefeld called the incident a “random, chance encounter” and said there was no indication the gunman knew the victim was a police detective. Investigators do not think it was a robbery, he said.

Early Wednesday morning, police were searching the garage and the area, which is also close to the adult entertainment district known as The Block.

The detective is the second city police department member to be shot in the past nine days. Officer William H. Torbit Jr., an eight-year veteran of the city force, was killed Jan. 9 by fellow officers while trying to break up a rowdy crowd outside a downtown club. His funeral is Wednesday.