Police in Baltimore were searching for a gunman who led police on a chase, shot an officer and carjacked at least one person in order to make his escape Tuesday night, police said.
The officer, who was struck in the abdomen, is expected to survive and may not require surgery, Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a hospital. The bullet is thought to have grazed him without striking any internal organs, the commissioner said.
"The officer was wearing body armor, which we believe very likely saved his life," Harrison said.
The officer attempted to pull over an erratic driver who he believed was intoxicated about 9:30 p.m., the commissioner said.
After crashing, the driver fled on foot and the officer gave chase on foot, police said. The suspect is believed to have turned and fired, striking the officer at least once, Harrison said.
The gunman carjacked at least one person in a blue Toyota Camry in order to escape, and police believe he may have carjacked a second person but that had not been confirmed, Harrison said.
"There is a suspect on the loose who is armed and dangerous, who has fired, and shot, a police officer, and thank God that officer is doing OK at this moment," Harrison said. "But we need help apprehending this violent offender tonight and as soon as possible."
The officer, who has not been identified, was in good spirits at a hospital and gave his commanding officer a thumbs-up, Harrison said.
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young hailed the officer's bravery. "This officer put their life on the line for the residents of our City," Young said in a statement.