BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Gunshots rattled a Baltimore County neighborhood early Wednesday morning.
Parkville is where police say a spree of car break-ins ended with an officer forced to open fire, sending a suspect to the hospital.
A neighbor tells WJZ’s Kimberly Eiten she saw and heard it all, from the time the officer got out of his car to moments later, when he says both men went for their guns.
“The officer did revert back to his training, and did what he had to do in this situation,” says Baltimore County Police Cpl. Shawn Vinson.
The unnamed officer got to Hillendale Road and Northview Road around 4:30 a.m., after someone had reported a man breaking into vehicles.
Police say the 27-year-old suspect tried to turn away.
When the officer walked toward him, the suspect allegedly reached for a gun in his waistband, ignoring orders from the officer to stop.
“It escalates quickly to a person who is armed with a handgun who intended to pull this handgun out and try to use it against our officers,” Cpl. Vinson says.
The man was taken to Shock Trauma and is still hospitalized with what police say are serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and will soon face assault and theft charges.
“I just hope it sends a message and stops what’s been going on in the neighborhood,” says Daniel Mcree, a neighbor.
Those who live nearby are stunned that a minor crime spree ended in such a major way, on their quiet block across from a school.
A neighbor told WJZ off-camera that car break-ins are a common problem in his neighborhood, but it’s uncommon for that kind of petty crime to end in the three gunshots he heard in the predawn hours of the morning.
Police are going to be looking at body camera footage as part of their investigation into the shooting.
They say they found a loaded handgun on the ground next to the injured suspec, and that they are still investigating how many cars were targeted and how.
They’re asking anyone who may be a victim to call them.