BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Two Baltimore barbers were killed in a shooting spree across East Baltimore Saturday, before an off-duty officer intervened and killed the gunman.
“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families who lost their lives very unnecessarily,” said Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Harrison said it started Saturday afternoon on East Oliver Street. The gunman, 38-year-old Carlos Ortega, got into an argument with someone and shot him. The victim is still in critical condition.
Ortega then headed to Crown Barbershop on Eastern Avenue where shot and killed 44-year-old Javier Villegas Cotto.
People who work nearby said they heard at least 10 gun shots and saw the aftermath: a barber killed on the side walk in front of where he worked.
“He was doing his job you know,” said Qais, who works at the neighboring Eastern Pizza. “He comes here to buy food all the time. He was a cool dude. He was really nice.”
Police say Ortega then drove to Blady Style Barber Shop on O’Donnell Street. He walked in and killed 33-year-old Rafael Jeffers. An off-duty Baltimore City Police sergeant, David Burch, happened to be getting a haircut at the time and returned fire killing Ortega.
“I want to personally thank our sergeant for the bravery, for standing up, knowing after seeing what you just saw someone being shot right in front of them, to immediately respond, to handle the situation,” said Mayor Brandon Scott. “We don’t know what would have happened if he was not able to respond in that way and how many more incidents could have happened.”