DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — Four of five Baltimore County officers at the scene of an arrest in Dundalk opened fire on a driver who allegedly rammed a police vehicle on Thursday, police said.
None of the officers involved, who are part of the Criminal Arrest Support Team, were wearing body cameras. BCPD spokeswoman Joy Stewart told WJZ that some specialist units do not carry body-worn cameras. She did not specify why.
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Police said officers are holding two people in connection with a 2021 homicide around 1 p.m. near the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Avon Avenue when a driver of a black Infiniti allegedly rammed a police cruiser.
Officers then opened fire on the driver, who was hit an unknown number of times. Police said officers provided immediate assistance until medics arrived, when the patient was transported to Shock Trauma.
The condition of the driver – who is now labeled a suspect by the police – is not known, but he remains hospitalized. Police said the driver was not one of two people the arrest team came to arrest.
It’s unclear how many shots were fired at the scene, but footage from the vehicle shows multiple bullet holes through the front windshield and front passenger window.
A woman told WJZ on Thursday that her son was a passenger in the car that was shot. She said he was on the phone at the time of the shooting and it was his vehicle that was rammed by police.
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“My son called me, and when my son called me, they were shooting at the car while I was on the phone with him,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. “I rushed home after work to find out what was going on and they still haven’t told me.”
An eyewitness at the scene told WJZ that he grew up with the person who was shot and that they were good friends. He claimed the driver was a victim, trying to get away from the police out of fear.
“He would never try to get anyone in trouble or anything like that, he just wanted to hang out with people, relax, he was a cool boy,” the man said.
Stewart told WJZ on Friday that the officers wore vests identifying them as police officers.
The four officers have been placed on routine administrative duty pending an investigation into the shooting. No other injuries were reported in the incident.
It’s unclear why the unit didn’t have body-worn cameras, but Stewart told WJZ that Baltimore County police are expected to receive an additional 425 body-worn cameras in fiscal year 2022 or 2023, which will be granted to all special investigation offices, including the specialized units which do not currently have one.
According to an analysis of the Baltimore County Police’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022, all department officers should have body-worn cameras by 2025.
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While two people were arrested at the scene, one person was later released. Police said they have not disclosed which homicide the arrests were made for, as people are still being held in custody in the case.