A man who brought a gun into an Old Goucher methadone clinic has died, and a Baltimore Police Department sergeant is in stable condition after an exchange of gunfire this morning inside the medical center in the 2100 block of Maryland Avenue, police said.
A man with gunshot wounds who was found in a different part of the building has also died. Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, who said he’s viewed all the body-worn camera footage from the incident, told reporters that officers only fired at the man who brought a gun into the clinic after he started shooting at them.
A female worker at the clinic sustained non-life threatening injuries during the incident, Harrison said.
Police were called to the scene at 7:09 a.m. for reports of an armed man inside the clinic, Harrison said at a press conference this morning outside University of Maryland Shock Trauma. When officers arrived, civilians outside the building told police there was a man with a gun inside and he had already fired several shots.
Officers from the Northern District entered the building and confronted the man. They “tried to de-escalate the situation many times, however the suspect began firing at them,” Harrison said.
Police returned fire. In the exchange, Sgt. Bill Shiflett, a 25-year veteran of the force, was struck in the abdomen just below a bullet-proof vest he was wearing. A younger officer carried Shiflett to safety shortly after he was wounded.
Shiflett was taken to Shock Trauma and immediately underwent surgery. Doctors said he is in stable condition and will remain in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time. The city police union, FOP Lodge 3, tweeted today that he was out of surgery.
The scene is still being processed, Harrison said, and the department is conducting an internal investigation of the police-involved shooting. Harrison said investigators were still working to determine if the man who was found shot in another part of the building was an employee.
The commissioner said he’d met with Shiflett’s wife, children, brother and sister.
“And at this moment, we want to make sure our thoughts and our prayers are with our officer for a speedy recovery.”
The officer who pulled Shiflett to safety was hailed as a hero by Harrison and other officials. Northern District commander Maj. Rich Gibson identified him in a Facebook post later Monday afternoon as Officer Chris Miller. City salary records show Miller has worked for the department since November 2016.
“He’s very heroic,” Gibson said of the two-and-a-half-year veteran, “and we’re gonna ensure he’s commended for what he did.”
City Council President Brandon Scott said the actions by all the officers “showed extreme courage” and that this incident highlights the city’s issues with gun violence and illegal firearms.
“We have to again use this instance to show our officers are fighting daily and risking their lives to stop this disease of gun violence in Baltimore, and that this incident, again, highlights the seriousness of how we have to deal with the flow of illegal guns into Baltimore City.”
Gov. Larry Hogan called the shooting “a senseless act of violence.”
“Our hearts are with the victims’ loved ones, and we are grateful for the prompt response by law enforcement,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “I ask all Marylanders to join me in wishing a full and speedy recovery to Sgt. Billy Shiflett of the Baltimore City Police Department.”
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young was not present at the press conference, but Harrison said he’d been in regular contact with the mayor about the shooting.
Harrison also said he’s been in contact with officials from the Department of Justice and members of the consent decree monitoring team. He invoked the BPD’s new policy on body-worn camera footage, meaning he has a week to decide about releasing the video publicly.
This story has been updated.