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Man Charged With Officer's Attempted Murder After Gun Battle

Man Charged With Officer's Attempted Murder After Gun Battle

The Baltimore Sun via YellowBrix

November 29, 2010

BALTIMORE – A 30-year-old man accused of shooting a police officer early Saturday, setting off a gun battle with police near downtown nightclubs, has been charged with attempted murder.

Franklin James Gross, of the 1900 block of Woodlawn Drive, faces seven charges including attempted first- and second-degree murder, assault, possession of a handgun and use of a handgun during a violent crime, according to Detective Kevin Brown, a police spokesman. Gross remains hospitalized and is in police custody.

Police say Gross shot and seriously wounded the officer after an exchange of gunfire on North Calvert Street. The officer was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

“The officer is in stable condition and won’t officially be named because he is being classified as a nonfatal shooting victim and we don’t [identify] victims,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

Law enforcement officials, however, identified the officer as Todd A. Strohman, a one-year veteran of the force.

Guglielmi said Gross was questioned by detectives before being charged midday Sunday. The suspect sustained multiple gunshot wound and remains at Shock Trauma.

The incident began just after 1 a.m. at East Baltimore and North Calvert streets.

According to an earlier account from Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, Central District commander Maj. Dennis Smith spotted a man walking awkwardly with his pants sagging to one side. Bealefeld called it the “classic stance of an armed man.”

Smith radioed an officer closer to the man. It was unclear if the officer spoke to Gross before the man began shooting at the officer. The officer was struck above his bulletproof vest. The bullet ricocheted off his clavicle and became lodged in his chest.

Several tactical officers on patrol in the area shot at the gunman, police said, firing at least 20 bullets in one city block. Bealefeld couldn’t say how many other people were on the street at the time.

The officers have been patroling on weekend nights and cracking down on the nightclubs and bars since last summer, when a number of robberies and violence were reported.

The latest shooting happened just before closing time, when there are typically a large number of people on the streets.

Gross fled on foot before getting into a Toyota Camry with two other people. The car headed north, and eventually crashed into a light pole and fire hydrant at Calvert and Franklin streets. The back window, trunk and bumper were peppered with about a dozen bullet holes. The other occupants had not been charged Sunday.

Gross was apprehended at Mercy Medical Center, where he sought treatment for his wounds.

Officials said that police appeared to have acted appropriately in firing upon the suspect because he was armed and had committed a violent crime.

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