BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore police officer who was shot Tuesday night after pursuing a suspected drunk driver has been released from the hospital, officials reported Wednesday.
Officer Joshua Jackson of the Central District was on routine patrol Tuesday night when he saw a vehicle moving erratically near the intersection of East Pratt and Light streets around 9:25 p.m.
When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver sped away. Jackson followed the vehicle into the 1000 block of Light Street, where the vehicle crashed and the driver bailed, police reported.
Officer Jackson then ran after the driver, so police said the driver fired at the officer, striking him in the lower abdomen.
Jackson was taken to Shock Trauma with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. He was in good spirits and was released from the hospital Wednesday morning.
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Commissioner Michael Harrison credited the officer’s body armor with protecting him, saying it “very likely saved his life.”
Jackson has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since May 2017, police said.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Harrison called Jackson one of the city’s finest officers.
Last year, WJZ did a feature story on Jackson after a video of him rapping went viral.
“Domestic, shootings, cuttings. I’ve seen it all,” Jackson said at the time. “I’ve seen it all, and that’s made me the man I am today. It’s certainly influenced my music, showing me how fortunate I am to be where I am.”
“I feel like as hard as we work out here, there are officers who aren’t motivated enough, and maybe feel there aren’t people behind them enough,” he said back in March 2019. “This is a song that can give them more motivation behind what they do.”
On Wednesday morning, Gov. Larry Hogan said the state “stands ready to assist the investigation.
“We are deeply disturbed by the senseless shooting of a police officer last night in Federal Hill. Fortunately, the officer is in good condition,” he wrote.
We are deeply disturbed by the senseless shooting of a police officer last night in Federal Hill. Fortunately, the officer is in good condition, and state law enforcement stands ready to assist the investigation.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) May 27, 2020
Police said the suspect carjacked a blue Toyota Camry and escaped, Harrison said.
The suspect, who Harrison identified Wednesday afternoon as 28-year-old Antonio Oliver Janifer, has not yet been apprehended and should be considered armed and dangerous.
“He has a history of violence and is a repeat violent offender who should have never been out on the streets of Baltimore,” the commissioner said.
Anyone with information about this incident and/or suspect is asked to contact the police or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.
Correction: The initial name released by the governor of the officer involved in the Federal Hill shooting was incorrect. The name has since been released by Baltimore Police. We apologize for the error.