A 21-year-old man from Baltimore was shot in a possible "suicide by cop" attempt Sunday, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Monday.
The suspect, who has not been charged, remains in critical condition. He was struck at least three times in his upper body by the officer, who was "where we asked him to be, doing what we asked him to do," Davis said.
The patrol officer assigned to the Northwest district, was parked in an alley off of Ulman avenue around 9:30 Sunday morning. He was working on paperwork when he noticed a man walking up to the window with a gun pointed right at the officer.
"Fearing for his life, thought he was being ambushed, he discharged his firearm several times," said Davis.
The bullets went right through his rolled-up window.
The man, who was on probation for a drug distribution charge, had a 9mm handgun, which was not loaded. The officer had no way of knowing that, Davis said.
"It's really scary for police officers," Davis said.
The officer was not hurt. Investigators think the incident was an attempted suicide by cop.
"When you couple statements that he made to public safety about 'you shoulda finished me off, shoulda finished me,' and you couple that with the fact that the firearm he possessed was unloaded, that gives us a pretty good idea that this was a suicide by cop scenario," said Davis.
The suspect faces first degree assault, and handgun violations for Sunday's Park Heights encounter.
The officer involved has been placed on routine administrative leave.
"By all accounts, our police officer did a great job recognizing the deadly threat that was in front of him and responding to that threat," Davis said.
"If we waited to find out if that gun was loaded, we'd be talking about a dead officer today," Baltimore Police Spokesperson, TJ Smith said.