A man was shot and wounded by a security guard Sunday morning inside a pizza place in Fells Point, police confirmed.

The shooting happened around 2:20 a.m. in the 700 block of S. Broadway, the heart of the waterfront nightlife district. Police said there was a “physical altercation” between the guard and the person inside the Pie in the Sky pizzeria, and the guard opened fire.

No one was arrested and the incident is under investigation, said Lindsey Eldridge, the police department’s chief spokesperson.

On Sunday morning, the pizzeria was open with delivery services picking up orders. A blood trail could be seen coming out of the front door, into a potted plant that appeared to have been tipped over and set back up, and down the block and into the street. An employee said a manager would be in later.

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A string of shootings by security guards in Baltimore over a one-month span late last year called attention to how security guards are regulated and investigated. Two security guards were arrested and charged with murder — one that occurred at a Royal Farms in Carroll Park, and another outside of a bar in Highlandtown.

The Highlandtown guard, Keith Luckey, had been pending criminal charges at the time for assaulting a patron at the same bar, the Baltimore Banner first reported.

Maryland State Police, which licenses private armed security guards, doesn’t mandate training for security agencies, and they also don’t play any oversight role in shooting incidents.

Security guards apply for a license only after they are hired by an agency. Then they submit an application and fingerprints for a criminal background check. State police can revoke the license for a felony or misdemeanor in some cases, and security guards can work while their applications are pending.

Many other guards aren’t licensed at all. There’s pending legislation in both chambers of the General Assembly that would change that, requiring all guards to be licensed and establishing minimum training standards, including training before being certified and every three years. It would require employers to submit reports when force is used by guards.

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The bill passed the Senate on Friday, according to sponsor state Sen. Jill Carter, a Baltimore Democrat.

Del. Elizabeth Embry, a Baltimore Democrat, said at a March 7 hearing that the legislation is “consistent with 28 other states, and the training would include appropriate use of force and de-escalation techniques.”

The National Association of Security Companies said they were “very supportive” of the bills.

“There’s no doubt that better vetted, trained security officers translates into better performing security officers,” Steve Amitay, the organization’s executive director, told legislators.

justin.fenton@thebaltimorebanner.com

Justin Fenton is an investigative reporter for the Baltimore Banner. He previously spent 17 years at the Baltimore Sun, covering the criminal justice system. His book, "We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption," was released by Random House in 2021 and became an HBO miniseries. 

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