BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The FBI warned police that members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang had discussed ambushing officers before Thursday night’s deadly police-involved shooting in West Baltimore, a police source tells WJZ.
This comes just one week after five officers were shot and killed by an attacker in Dallas during an otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter march.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, BPD Commissioner Kevin Davis said police don’t have any information to confirm that the suspect, who was killed, had gang ties. He has been identified as 33-year-old Dayten Ernest Harper.
On Thursday night at about 9:30 p.m., four officers were driving along the 2300 block of Winchester Street when they heard gunshots ring out, BPD spokesperson T.J. Smith said at a news briefing after midnight Friday.
They traced the gunfire to the parking lot of an apartment complex where authorities say Harper, armed with an AR-15 style rifle, opened fire at them.
The type of ammunition he was using has body armor-piercing capabilities, according to Davis.
“We’re lucky we don’t have four dead cops today,” he said. “If this was a successful ambush, then we would have had to plan right now four funerals.”
Harper was struck at some point as two of the four officers returned fire. Harper retreated, but was later found on the second level of the complex and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The two officers who fired at Harper — 16 and 6-year veterans of the force — have been placed on routine administrative duties.
Davis said one of the four officers was wearing a police body camera, but did not have time to turn it on.
Police say they were initially worried that there was second suspect, but Harper turned out to be the only shooter.
No one else was wounded during the shootout.