A man was shot and killed by police and two Baltimore officers were injured after the man fired at police who were attempting to arrest him in the Security Square Mall parking on a warrant related to a homicide in the city, officials said.
The injured officers were part of the multi-jurisdictional Warrant Apprehension Task Force and were attempting to serve a warrant on the 32-year-old man, who has not yet been identified, for a homicide that occurred on West Lanvale St. on June 19, said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Harrison said the suspect fired multiple shots at police when they attempted to approach his vehicle in the mall parking lot just before 8 a.m. Several officers returned fire, striking the suspect, he said.
He was taken to a hospital, where he died, police said.
“Building a safer Baltimore requires us to hold violent offenders accountable,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott during a press conference. “Today these officers were doing just that.
Police were called to the scene at 6901 Security Square Boulevard.
The 1-million-square-foot mall, built in 1972, has more than 100 stores and restaurants and is anchored by Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory, So Home Furniture and AMC Theaters. A Sears mall anchor store closed in 2019.
In 2018, Set the Captives Free, a nondenominational church with around 2,000 members, paid $4.75 million to buy 160,000 square feet at the mall in space vacated by Seoul Plaza and JCPenney. The church developed the O.W.E. Center, a community center, to hold worship and community services (O.W.E. stands for Outreach, Worship and Education, three areas on which the community center is focused.)
Pastor Karen Bethea, owner of the O.W.E Center, said she heard about the shooting from parishioners.
”My staff is in the building, and I was driving here, and everyone’s texting me: ‘Pastor, are you at the church?” Bethea said.
Bethea said she was frustrated to hear about the shooting, in part because it may overshadow community outreach efforts. Her group just held a trash pick-up near the mall, she said, and is soon to open the community center, which will include a daycare, work force development programs and youth programs.
”We have a lot of good stuff going on, but when this happens … this is what they remember,” Bethea said.
Baltimore County is partnering with Set the Captives Free to open a health clinic in the mall, and has plans to move the Woodlawn Women, Infants and Children Center to the new site this year.
Amin Portee, owner of Saadia’s in Security Square Mall, said he heard about the shooting at about 9:30 a.m., just as he was heading to his shop.
The back door of his store was blocked off by crime scene tape , so he had to enter his store by walking through the mall.
“It’s an inconvenience, a big inconvenience,” he said.
By about 10 a.m., a few mall workers were milling about, some wondering when they might be able to get to work.
Mall patrons pulled up in their cars, wondering whether they could enter any of the stores near the crime scene.