BALTIMORE — A U.S. Marshals Service deputy was shot and wounded and a suspect was killed Thursday morning during an exchange of gunfire while law enforcement officers served an arrest warrant in Baltimore, authorities said.
The suspect was shot by return fire and died after the shooting, which occurred about 6:15 a.m., Baltimore police spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge said in an email.
The Marshals Service tweeted that the deputy was taken to a Baltimore hospital with serious injuries and was recovering from surgery.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the deputy and his family during this tragic time,” the agency said.
Dr. Thomas Scalea, of the University of Maryland shock trauma center in Baltimore, said at a news conference that the deputy was still on life support in the intensive care unit.
“We’re very hopeful,” he said. “But you just never know. It’s too early.”
The shooting occurred while members of the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force were serving an arrest warrant on a suspect wanted for armed robbery and attempted murder, the Marshals Service said. The federal agency identified the suspect as Donta Green.
Task force commander Don Snider said at a news conference that deputies were clearing a residence when they began taking fire from an individual “hiding in a closet.” The deputies fired back.
Snider said the fugitive was struck as well as the deputy U.S. Marshal.
Police Commissioner Michael S. Harrison said authorities had been searching for Green ever since he fired a gun at police officers outside a grocery store Saturday.
“Mr. Green was deemed a high-risk fugitive,” Harrison said. “And our detectives were assisted by our federal partners, the U.S. Marshals.”
Thursday’s shooting was the second time in a week that a federal agent was shot while serving a warrant.
Earlier this week, two FBI agents were killed, and three other agents wounded when a suspect opened fire as the agents were attempting to serve a search warrant at a home in Sunrise, Florida. The incident was one of the bloodiest days in FBI history.
Warrants are inherently dangerous, with agents often approaching and entering properties where they don’t know the layout in order to conduct a search or arrest a wanted suspect. Since 2009, around 75 law enforcement officers have been killed nationwide while attempting to serve warrants.
And Breonna Taylor, among many others, have been killed by law enforcement when the effort to serve a warrant goes awry.
In recent years, some tactical experts have advised police departments to consider not trying to make fugitive arrests at the suspect’s home, where they could store weapons and instead try other methods like waiting for a suspect to leave a location and arrest them outside or during a traffic stop. But those situations carry risks too and could potentially put bystanders at risk.