Gunfire in Baltimore that killed a man and injured two other adults Saturday night was part of a “mass casualty incident,” the city’s top police leader said.
One person was detained for questioning, and police were still trying to determine if the person would be designated as a suspect or victim, authorities said at a Saturday night news conference.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison described a chaotic scene in the city’s Upton community, where ShotSpotter sensors alerted police to gunshots at 6:39 p.m.
He said it appeared that a shooter or possibly more than one armed suspect opened fire, striking a 43-year-old man standing outside, who was declared dead after arriving at a hospital, striking another man, 65, in an arm, and wounding a motorist in a moving vehicle nearby, Harrison said.
“We are here again with another mass casualty incident,” he said.
The vehicle, also carrying children ages 2 and 3, struck a pole and came to a stop, the commissioner said. The 23-year-old woman behind the wheel was stabilized at a hospital after authorities initially said she was critical condition, according to a late-night statement from Baltimore police.
The children suffered head trauma and lacerations in the vehicle crash, according to the statement. The 3-year-old was injured in the collision and stabilized at a hospital, police said. The 2-year-old, also injured in the accident, was stabilized in critical condition, they said.
Police initially believed the 2-year-old had been struck by gunfire in the face, but overnight they said the toddler was injured solely in the vehicle crash.
In their overnight statement, Baltimore police said it appeared the vehicle crashed “when the driver was shot.”
“What we believe happened was at some point, a gunman or multiple gunmen opened fire,” Harrison said earlier in the evening. “We do not know if the intended target were the people in the vehicle or the individuals who are on the sidewalk.”
The reason behind the shooting still appeared to be unknown. “We consistently see it, and we know it’s over nothing,” Mayor Brandon Scott said.
Police pleaded with potential friends, family and witnesses with facts on the attack to come forward.
“It’s time for us to stop acting like that,” Scott said at the news conference. “We can be better. It’s on us. This ain’t on anybody else. It’s not on the police to make us be better for ourselves. We can do that.”