Police investigate suspects shot by officers in West Baltimore

ShootingsHomicideAnthony Batts

Police on Tuesday worked to find out more about the backgrounds of the two men wounded and one man killed in an overnight shootout with officers in West Baltimore.

The incident took place about 10 p.m. Monday after two officers on foot patrol in the 2700 block of Edmondson Ave. saw gunfire coming out of a bronze sedan, police said.

The officers fired on the car, police said. All three men shot were in the vehicle, police said.

Police did not know the dead man's identity Tuesday and were running his fingerprints through databases. They did not release the identities of the injured men. Both men are in serious condition at area hospitals, Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Homicide detectives are investigating, following department policy for police-involved shootings. Neither officer was injured, and their identities will be released 48 hours after the incident. Both officers fired their guns, Guglielmi said.

"These cops were in the right place at the right time and acted heroically when they saw a shooting in progress," Guglielmi said. "At least one of the individuals has a prior handgun arrest in his background, so this is a known gun offender."

Police recovered two handguns from the car, Guglielmi said.

Investigators were also looking into why the suspects were allegedly shooting before police engaged them. Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts, who arrived on the scene after the shooting, said the men were reportedly firing in a "particular direction" in the busy commercial corridor.

But police have yet to find anyone the suspects might have struck.

"We did not find any victims in area hospitals," Guglielmi said Tuesday. "We checked the county. It's unsure who these suspects were shooting at."

Baltimore police have made West Baltimore a priority in their focus to reduce the city's rising homicide rate. Seventeen of the city's 65 homicides — 26 percent — have occurred in the three-square-mile Western District, and police have been monitoring the blocks with foot patrol officers since March, hoping to deter violence.

Police have been involved in eight other shootings this year, killing two and wounding seven.

On Tuesday, police released the names of three officers who fired their guns in an April 18 shootout in Canton that killed John R. Monroe, 42, in the 3400 block of Foster Ave.

Police say they had finished investigating a domestic disturbance involving Monroe, his wife and another woman when they heard gunshots and returned to the home. They chased Monroe in a gunbattle.

The two women also sustained gunshot wounds but survived. Police continue to investigate the case, and have not determined whose bullets hit the victims, though they believe they were Monroe's.

The officers involved were Israel Villodas, 29, who was hired in 2006; Keith Savadel, 30, hired in 2008;and Demario Harris, 27, also hired in 2008. None of the three had been involved in on-the-job shootings before, police said.

Last year, there were 15 police-involved shootings. Officers wounded 15, nine of whom died.

Baltimore Sun reporter Carrie Wells contributed to this report.

jgeorge@baltsun.com

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