Tips lead to arrest of shooting suspect downtown

Video of daytime shooting credited for tips
Posted at 4:39 PM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 10:07:01-04

The 100 block of North Howard Street in downtown Baltimore is not much to look at, but tell that to Byron Smoot who after 22 years in prison, is seeing the beauty of Baltimore all over again…in black and white.

[You're just rediscovering life as it is with this camera?] “Yeah, yeah.  This is really helping me cope with my absence of what life was like, what it could have been like for me...yeah."

The still camera is a hobby in between the landscaping business Smoot started when he got out of prison just six months ago.

It's a new world out here now he says, including the amount and brand of crime in the city, some seen right here in this block not 6 weeks ago.

"When I came up it wasn't like that and now it's like you can't grasp it. It's like we are all in a twilight zone. This should not be happening. It should not be happening," Smoot said.

Because while the camera may be helping to save the life of one man, it is putting away another.

Baltimore Police released video of who they say is 28 year old Ronaldo Freeman.

In it you can watch him as he starts shooting at his victim in the middle of Howard Street, in the middle of the day.

The footage is clear, of such a clearly violent act.

"To see something like that, people can’t get a feel for what actually happens until they actually see it face first," said Detective Donny Moses.

Because as soon as police released the video Moses says the calls started coming in.

Freeman was arrested and charged yesterday with attempted first and second degree murder for the August 6th shooting.

Police credit the video clarity and the blatant depravity of what's pictured for the tips.

"I think that is why we got the help that we got as a result of this video. We had a lot of people calling…I know who it is, I know where he can go get him," Moses said.

These kinds of arrests keep coming as surveillance videos keeps getting better.

For Smoot though, he is now on the other end of that lens, hoping to catch in photos what a previous life in crime took away.

"There is nothing like being in prison for 22 years of your life and you see everything that is going on the outside and you go like, wow, what have I done? And you make a difference. But you gotta want to change,” Smoot said.

It’s a lesson he wishes the criminals of today would learn…point your camera, and shoot.