Coppin State University Police Officer’s Quick Thinking Stopped In-Progress Shooting

Coppin State University Police shooting

Coppin State University Police shooting

Coppin State University Police Officer’s Quick Thinking Stopped In-Progress Shooting

Baltimore, MD –  A response based on situational awareness and quick thinking saved the life of a Coppin State University Police Officer last Tuesday evening, December 13, and an as yet unidentified second subject.  The Coppin State Officer unintentionally drove into the middle of an on-view shooting on that night, and the suspect was shot and killed.

According to news sources, the Baltimore Police Department released a video of the incident on Friday, December 16, 2016.  In the video, the unidentified Coppin State Officer was on routine patrol about 6:20 p.m. at a West Baltimore intersection at the edge of the Coppin State University campus.  The suspect, Lavar Montray Douglas, age 18, who lived in the 2400 block of Druid Avenue, is shown as a passenger in a vehicle that turned right onto Windsor Avenue from Warwick Avenue.  The vehicle then stops in the middle of the street. The video continues and shows the CSU Police Officer making the same turn in an unmarked vehicle and finding the road blocked by the vehicle that Douglas was riding in.

Without any warning, a man later identified as Douglas runs past the Coppin SU Police Officer’s vehicle and into the middle of the intersection.  Douglas then opens fire on a third vehicle at the location before running back to the vehicle he arrived in.  The video shows the Hero CSU Officer getting out of his vehicle and returning fire.  Douglas was shot and killed.

Leonard Hamm, Coppin State University Police Chief, and former City Commissioner, said “I don’t know if I would have been able to have the presence of mind to stop somebody from doing what they were doing, call for an ambulance, call for assistance and preserve that crime scene.  That’s what that officer did.”  He also said “the shooting and the officer’s reaction occurred in a matter of seconds.”  According to T. J. Smith, Baltimore PD spokesman, who was asked about the coincidence of an officer witnessing a shooting so close to his location, “the video speaks for itself.”

The Hero CSU Officer was not injured and has been placed on administrative duty while the investigation is ongoing, which is standard procedure. He has not been identified per the request of university counsel and Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office.  The Officer has been with the CSU PD for about 14 months after previously working for a metropolitan police department within the state of Maryland.  The Baltimore Police Department is conducting the investigation.

According to police sources, a second person in the vehicle that Douglas was a passenger in has not been identified and is being sought.  The vehicle and its occupant(s) that Douglas shot at has also not been identified and is being sought.  It is not confirmed but it is believed that no one else was injured in the shooting.

In 2015, charges of Armed Robbery, Assault, and unspecified gun charges against Douglas were dropped while other gun charges were remanded to Juvenile Court.  He has pending drug charges scheduled in court in January, 2017.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call 911 or the Baltimore Police Department, (410) 396-2525.

We are grateful that the Hero Coppin State University Officer was not injured and commend him for his swift response, courage, and commitment to those he serves and protects.

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