"The passenger in the vehicle got out (and) started to walk towards Eastern Avenue," said Cpl. John Wachter of the Baltimore County Police Department.
An unidentified business owner in the area claims surveillance video shows the man held his hands in the air for several seconds before he stopped in his tracks.
That's when it appears he made a fateful error.
"During an interaction between the passenger of the vehicle and the officer, that passenger made some sudden movements to turn and towards his waistband and placed the officer in fear for his life," said Wachter, "The officer feared that the individual had a weapon and was going to engage him with that weapon. The officer fired his weapon at least one time striking the suspect."
Paramedics transported the unidentified suspect to an area hospital, but at this point, his condition is not known.
Police recovered suspected narcotics at the scene and a handgun from the vehicle, but there was no sign the wounded suspect was armed at the time of the shooting.
The case underscores the split-second decisions that officers face when confronting suspects, and it will now be the subject of an internal review.
"The homicide unit is investigating as they investigate all police-involved shootings. The officer will be placed on administrative status while the incident is reviewed.
Police confirm they have obtained a copy of the surveillance video that shows the incident, but at this point they are neither releasing nor commenting on it.