BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police have identified the armed robbery suspect who was fatally shot by a Baltimore Police Department officer Monday morning.
The suspect has been identified as 20-year-old Eric Garrison. Police believe Garrison had worked with several others to rob 20-30 stores in the area recently.
Police say the officer had no choice but to fire, and Baltimore PD Commissioner Kevin Davis commended the officer for doing exactly what he’s trained to do. Taking into light the suspect’s record, Davis says the whole situation could have been prevented.
The robbery happened at about 2:50 a.m., when a Baltimore Police Officer was pulling into the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on Harford Rd. and Glenmore Ave.
Garrison is seen on store surveillance video holding up the store. After the officer’s arrival, Garrison runs out of the door with his sawed-off shotgun raised in the air.
The whole incident is caught on surveillance video, as well as police body cam, as the officer got out of the car and shot Garrison, who was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police identified the officer involved as Kevin Amy, a 17-year veteran of Baltimore PD.
“Any hesitation could have cost that police officer his life,” says Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.
Online court records show that weeks ago Garrison was arrested for burglary. The year before, the same thing. In 2014, armed robbery. Many are asking the question: why was he on the streets to begin with?
“Unfortunately, this is a dime a dozen scenario. Very sadly, where we have someone who probably should have been incarcerated,” says Davis.
“He was remanded back down to the juvenile court. And that happens more often than not in Baltimore City.”
The Commissioner’s frustrations are similar to those that have boiled over from the community to the police department in recent months.
[Rick Ritter: As the commissioner, everyone is pointing the finger at you to curb violence. But how hard is it with repeat offenders getting back out on the street?]
“I do think if we start enforcing the laws throughout our criminal justice system the way the laws were intended to be enforced, I do think we could make strides,” says Davis.
[Rick Ritter: Should people take a step back and say ‘this is an obvious reason why things need to change.’]
“As transparent as we’ve become, as a profession, and certainly as a department the last couple year, I just urge the rest of the criminal justice system to look itself in the mirror,” says Davis.
Garrison was due back in court in the weeks ahead. It was later found that the suspect’s shotgun was not loaded, and the suspect had taken $26 during the robbery, according to police.