Newly released Baltimore Police Department body camera footage shows an officer bravely running toward the sound of gunfire and arresting an alleged gunman who murdered somebody less than a block away. Check out the video above.
Baltimore Police Officer Arrests Gunman
On the afternoon of April 19, Officer Joseph Rodgers was dealing with a landlord-tenant dispute when over a dozen shots rang out. In the body camera video, Rodgers immediately starts heading toward the direction of the shots.
“I got shots fired!” Rodgers says.
Rodgers soon turns a corner and sees a man running.
“Put the gun down, put it down. Get on the ground, now!” Rodgers yells while pointing his duty gun at the man. “Put the gun down. Roll over! Roll the f*** over! Get on the ground!”
The suspect—17-year-old Eric Gilyard—complies with Rodgers’ orders and is placed under arrest. Rodgers tells another responding officer that he thinks Gilyard was the one doing the shooting. He then instructs him to search an alley to find a gun that Gilyard might have discarded.
According to CBS Baltimore, police believe Gilyard is responsible for the murder of 30-year-old Walter Baynes. Baynes was visiting his grandfather, 69-year-old George Evans, a Baptist deacon who has lived in the same house for over 40 years. Evans was shot eight times, but survived. There is no known motive for the shooting.
“I don’t know who did the shooting or where they came from,” Evans told the Baltimore Sun. “These kids coming around, they ain’t got no remorse. They ain’t got no respect. They just take a life as a joke.”
Evidence & Charges
Gilyard denies being the shooter. He told police he heard the gunfire as well, which is why he was running. But NewsChannel5 says police discovered a 9mm handgun in his waistband. In addition, 23 casings were found at the scene of the shooting; 14 of them were confirmed as being fired from Gilyard’s gun.
Gilyard has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder and a litany of other charges, the Sun reported.
Praise For Officer Rodgers
Baltimore Police Department spokesman TJ Smith praised Rodgers’ actions that day, citing it as an example of the work that BPD officers do on a daily basis.
“We can go back to 2015 where there was a lot of fair criticism that officers had taken a knee in Baltimore. If anyone thinks that an officer is taking a knee, just look at that video,” Smith said.
“The officer didn’t hesitate at all to run right into danger,” Smith added. “He was commended for his quick and decisive action that also can be categorized as life-saving. Any person bold enough to shoot and kill a man a half a block from a uniformed police officer, undoubtedly poses a continued threat to public safety.”
Smith said Rodgers is the norm among BPD officers.
“We hope that the public understands that Officer Rodgers is more what officers in Baltimore are, than what they are not,” Smith stated.