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Baltimore officers kill gunman who fired at police

The shooting occurred a week after five Dallas police officers were killed by a sniper during a protest over police brutality.

by Reuters and VICE News
Jul 15 2016, 2:14pm

Photo by Corwin Deckard/Flickr

Baltimore police officers fatally shot a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle who exchanged fire with them on Thursday on the city's West Side, police said.

Four plainclothes officers on patrol heard gunfire at about 9:30pm local time and responded to an apartment building where they found a man in a parking lot firing an AK-15 style weapon, police spokesman T.J. Smith told reporters at a news conference.

The unidentified man began firing at the officers. Two of the officers returned fire and struck the suspect, who later died, Smith said. No officers were hurt and police found no other victims, leading investigators to question whether the gunman attempted to lure officers to the location.

"Why he was firing initially? Who he was firing at? That's something we don't have the answer to," Smith said.

The incident comes a week after five police officers were killed during a Dallas protest by a sniper who told police during a standoff that he wanted to "kill white people" because of police killings of black people in the United States.

Related: Baltimore cop who drove van that carried Freddie Gray acquitted on all charges

It was the deadliest day for US law enforcement since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Whether the shooter in Baltimore was targeting police officers is unclear, according to Smith, who gave no other details about him.

"That is something that we are trying to figure out ourselves," he said. "That is certainly something that is concerning to us."

After exchanging gunfire with the officers, the man fled into an apartment where he was later found with a wound to his upper chest. A weapon that appeared to be an AK-15 was found in a nearby woods, according to Smith.

The man was taken to a hospital where he died. The two officers who fired their weapons were placed on administrative duties, Smith said.

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