BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A man is targeted and nearly killed inside a busy Baltimore cafe and bookstore. Tonight, the community is on edge as the shooter runs free.
It happened at Red Emma’s in Station North, just before lunchtime.
The man is in grave condition police say. The victim’s name has not been released, but at last check, he was alive — recovering at a Baltimore hospital as police search for his attacker.
“You hear one shot, and then you see one person on the ground, and then the shooter was gone,” says witness Cassandra Miller.
Detectives believe this was not a random shooting and say that those involved knew each other.
“It is believed that the victim and the suspect know each other. This wasn’t a random act, this wasn’t a random shooting. We’re not sure what the dispute or what the words exchanged were at this point,” says Lt. Jarron Jackson, with Baltimore City Police.
The victim is a regular at Red Emma’s, and other people in the shop rushed to his aid as soon as they realized what was going on.
“We all backed away, a lot of people called 911, and other people ran to the victim,” says Miller.
Red Emma’s is known a melting pot for people from all walks of life. It’s window paintings denounce violence and racism.
On Facebook, Red Emma’s reassures customers.
“We want to assure everyone that this was a case of interpersonal violence, not a politically-motivated attack.”
Still, those who watched it unfold are rattled.
“I’m a little shook up. I’m a little shook up. It’s a regular spot for me, you know?” says one witness.
The suspect description is vague: a man wearing dark clothing and possibly a mask. Red Emma’s says it plans to reopen Saturday.
Police are looking at surveillance video. Anyone with information is asked to call Baltimore City Police.