Baltimore police officer in ‘grave condition’ after being shot

A homicide detective in Maryland was shot in the head while in a troubled area of the city’s western district Wednesday night.

The unidentified Baltimore police officer, an 18-year veteran of the force, was shot around 4:30 p.m. by a man who approached him while engaging in “suspicious behavior,” according to Fox 45 Baltimore.

The officer is reportedly in “grave condition” and on life support in the intensive care unit.

The department, which is still searching for the suspect, tweeted earlier Wednesday to “Please say an extra prayer for the officer and the officer’s family.”

Police cordoned off streets in the West Baltimore area and a tactical unit combed alleyways as they searched for a shooter. Numerous cruisers responded and a police helicopter buzzed overhead, illuminating streets below with a searchlight.

Baltimore police said in a tweet that one of their officers was shot Wednesday evening.  (Kevin Richardson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The neighborhood where the officer was shot has a number of vacant row houses and has been the scene of numerous shootings over the years.

Mayor Catherine Pugh, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and other officials gathered at the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center where the officer was apparently being treated. They did not talk with reporters.

Wednesday’s shooting of the police officer comes amid a particularly violent period in Baltimore: So far this year, the city of less than 620,000 inhabitants has seen more than 300 homicides.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Baltimore field division, the FBI’s Baltimore field office and the DEA’s Baltimore district office are offering a reward of up to $60,000 for information leading to the arrest of the gunman.

Anyone with a tip can call the department at 410-396-2100 or text 443-902-4824.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.