A 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after he was shot by a Baltimore Police officer in Southwest Baltimore on Thursday afternoon, Deputy Commissioner Richard Worley said.
The teen was shot in the upper body and initially listed in critical condition. Worley said the teen was carrying a gun with an extended magazine.
The teen’s mother told WJZ on Thursday night her son was out of surgery.
“I got a phone call that my son was laying on the ground shot by a police officer,” she said. “I immediately ran there.”
She’s thankful he’s still alive.
“Thank God he’s not dead, and hopefully, pray to God, he’s not paralyzed behind this,” she told the station.
An officer was on patrol in the 2500 block of McHenry Street around 1:25 p.m. when he noticed “an individual they believed was displaying characteristics of an armed person,” Worley said. He did not elaborate.
As the officer approached, the teen took off running, police said, leading the officer on a foot chase through several alleys. At some point, the 17-year-old started carrying a gun in his right hand, Worley said.
The officer made multiple commands for the teen to drop the weapon, but the teen did not, according to police.
Near the 300 block of South Catherine Street, the officer fired “at least once,” hitting the teen, police said.
Police rendered aid and the 17-year-old was taken to a local hospital.
The officer is a member of one of the department’s District Action Teams, plainclothes units tasked with “proactive” policing — looking for armed people, making car stops and getting into foot chases.
At the scene Thursday, Mayor Brandon Scott called the shooting “unfortunate,” and added that “it is extremely traumatic for the injured, his family, the community, our police officers, everyone involved.“
Scott said his priority is to get guns off the streets.
“We will not continue, we cannot continue to allow folks to carry illegal firearms in our city,” he said.
Police tape blocked off several blocks at the intersection of South Catherine Street and Frederick Avenue near the busy Westside Shopping Center.
A woman who lives a couple blocks up from the shopping center but did not witness the shooting said she heard four shots, followed by a woman screaming “Oh my God!”
A man who lives in the area, who did not want to give his name for safety reasons, said he was walking to work on Frederick Avenue when the shooting happened. He said he heard six shots.
”My mouth dropped open,” he said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
Police officers and others crowded around the teen, and soon an ambulance came to pick him up. People were telling the 17-year-old not to pass out, the man who lives in the area said.
He said he had seen the teen around the neighborhood before, but didn’t know him personally.
“Everybody knows him around here,” another man chimed in at a bus station. “We all family around here.”