BALTIMORE (AP) — Two people are dead and a police sergeant and a woman are injured following a shooting at a methadone clinic in Baltimore, police said Monday.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a news conference that the sergeant is in stable condition and had gone into surgery.
Harrison said the suspect who fired at the sergeant is dead as well as another person who was found inside the clinic. The woman who was injured is expected to survive.
Harrison said the shooting was reported shortly after 7 a.m. and was captured on video by the body cameras of the officers who responded to the clinic.
Harrison said the suspect was seeking methadone and had been buzzed into the clinic. From there, the situation escalated.
“When our officers arrived, they were met by civilians outside who told them there was a man inside with a gun who had recently fired shots inside the building,” Harrison said.
The commissioner said responding officers “attempted to de-escalate the situation many times. However, the suspect began firing at them. As the suspect fired upon our officer, he returned gunfire but was struck by the suspect’s rounds.”
The police sergeant who was shot has been identified as Billy Shiflett, 48, a 25 year veteran of the force. He was wearing a bullet proof vest but the bullet struck his lower abdomen.
Shiflett was pulled to safety by a fellow police officer who had been on the force for about 2 ½ years.
George Dowler, 61, told The Baltimore Sun that he was waiting for his daily methadone treatment when he heard gunshots inside a counselor’s office. Dowler said he saw another patient emerge from the office holding a counselor at gunpoint and demanding that he be led into an area where the drug is kept.
Pippy Scott, 65, told the newspaper a man with a silver gun walked by her counselor’s office inside the treatment center. She said she watched through the office window as the man banged on the door of an office and yelled for methadone. Scott said the man then held a gun to the head of an employee.
The counselor whom Scott was talking to tried to intervene.
“He was saying ‘come on man let’s talk about it,'” Scott recalled.
Scott said a nurse then yelled for everyone to leave the clinic.