KEY POINTS

  • Police in Baltimore are searching for a man who shot an officer late Tuesday
  • The suspect also carjacked a blue Toyota Camry in order to escape authorities
  • The officer was grazed by the bullet in the abdomen
  • He is expected to survive and may not need surgery

Authorities in Baltimore are searching for a man who shot an officer and stole a vehicle in his effort to escape late Tuesday (May 26).

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a press conference that an officer on routine patrol noticed someone who was “driving erratically” near Light and Lombard and Pratt streets around 9:25 p.m. Believing that the driver might be drunk, the enforcer tried to pull him over, but the suspect fled when the officer flipped his sirens and lights.

A car chase ensued before the suspect crashed into a parked car several blocks away. The driver then fled on foot with the officer trailing after him. It was here that police claimed the gunman turned and fired at the officer.

The bullet grazed the Central District Officer's abdomen and did not hit any vital organs, thanks to the body armor that he was wearing, said Harrison. The police officer was hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries. He is expected to survive and may not require surgery.

Baltimore Police Homicides A Baltimore police officer guards a crime scene where orange cones mark the site of shell casings that were found at the scene of a shooting in West Baltimore, Maryland, May 30, 2015. A pair of double shootings Sunday made this month the deadliest May in Baltimore in more than 40 years. Photo: Reuters/Jim Bourg

Shock Trauma surgeon Thomas M. Scalea gave the commissioner a “good report” regarding the officer's condition, while Major Darly Gaines added that he is in “good spirits” and even managed to flash a thumbs-up sign.

Police said the gunman carjacked a blue Toyota Camry in his effort to escape. They also have “reason to believe” that he may have carjacked a second vehicle, although this hasn't been confirmed.

“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,” said Harrison. He also thanked the citizens for reporting the incident in a timely manner.

At the same time, Harrison asked the help of residents should they have any information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

“What we need now more than ever is anyone who saw something or heard something or knows something to please call us right away,” he said.

Baltimore mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young took to Twitter and praised the officer for his bravery, saying that the officer risked his life for the residents of the city.

“Our public safety officials, and in particular our police officers, deserve our gratitude and thanks for placing themselves in harm's way each and every day,” Young said in his post.