Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts spent hours at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center with the officer and told reporters at a news conference after 9 p.m. that “I probably have more questions than you have.”
“It’s going to take time to get answers to those questions because, for me, it’s unacceptable,” Batts said. “We’re going to take the time to dig to make this better so we don’t have this happen again.”
Batts said he had suspended all police academy operations and training programs pending a safety review. He said he would have his agency’s internal affairs unit as well as the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission conduct reviews in addition to the state police probe.
The officer was not identified at the request of his family, but Chief Antonio Williams of the University of Maryland, Baltimore police force said he was in his 40s and had been hired in July. It was his first police job, Williams said.
Officers from smaller agencies commonly take part in training with larger police forces to conserve resources.
Thomas Scalea, the physician in chief at Shock Trauma, said the officer was in stable condition at 9 p.m. “But any thoughts or predictions about . . . neurological outcomes are way, way premature,” he said.
A second officer, a member of the city force, suffered minor injuries from broken glass related to the shooting, said Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
City Council member Brandon M. Scott (D), vice chairman of the public safety committee, said he would call on police officials to explain the incident. Scott said he was dismayed to see another officer wounded in the wake of the deadly friendly-fire shooting of Officer William H. Torbit Jr. outside the Select Lounge nightclub in 2011.
“It’s an unspeakable tragedy, but there are a lot of questions that need to answered,” he said of Tuesday’s shooting. “I will do everything in my power that we find out what happened and that something like this never happens again.”
State police are leading the investigation because it took place in a state facility, owned by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Robert F. Cherry, the police union president, was at the hospital but referred questions to a union attorney, Michael Davey, who said the shooting was a “tragedy for the department and everyone involved. The police department will do a very thorough investigation.” They declined to identify the training instructor, who police said is suspended pending the review of the incident.