[Update below.] Conflicting reports about a police chase that may have involved gunfire roiled Baltimore today, just a week after riots rocked the city.
Initial reports said a man had been shot, but police then said a gun dropped by a man running from police went off, and that no one was hit by a bullet. Earlier, Baltimore Police tweeted the man was shot “multiple times,” but police later said no one had been shot.
A witness told Fox News no words were exchanged between officers and the man, whom she described as “young” and possibly in his teens.
Police said the man’s gun had fired when it fell during the chase. The witness, however, said she saw no weapon.
Police reportedly used pepper spray on the crowd after the shooting.
Last Friday, six Baltimore police officers were charged in the death of Gray, 25, who died April 19, one week after being injured while in police custody.
Gray’s death touched off rioting, that culminated in the torching of 15 buildings and more than 100 cars one week ago.
The death of Gray led prosecutors to charge one police officer with murder, three with manslaughter and two with assault in the death of Gray, who a prosecutor said suffered a broken neck last month when he was left shackled at the feet and lying face down in a police van by officers who ignored his pleas as they made their rounds. Gray suffered a broken neck, apparently while riding in the back of the Baltimore police van.
Read more at Fox News.
Update: Time Magazine reports that the State’s Attorney Baltimore police were bracing for further unrest Monday following reports of an officer shooting of a young black man – reports that police said later were “unfounded.”
Multiple people, including a Fox News host, tweeted just before 3 p.m. that they saw police shoot a man and use pepper spray on nearby people, according to Mediaite. Baltimore Police said it was investigating reports of a man being shot “multiple times” on its Twitter feed, before announcing within the hour that the reports were untrue.
“The reports of a man being shot at North and Pennsylvania Ave are NOT true,” Baltimore Police wrote. “Officers have arrested a man for a handgun at the location.” According to CNN, police said a man accidentally shot himself after throwing a gun to the ground. One reporter on the scene said EMTs arrived and took the injured man away on a stretcher.
Fox News host Shepard Smith later corrected the original report about the shooting. “We were wrong. Our people on scene were wrong,” he said. “Theirs was an error that was honest and straightforward and our duty as journalists is not to make mistakes and when we make mistakes we are duty-bound to correct them immediately and as clearly as possible.”
The city remains on edge after the death in police custody of Freddie Gray sparked numerous protests and unrest in Baltimore that culminated in riots one week ago. On Friday, Maryland state’s attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that six police officers would face charges, including second degree murder, in Gray’s death.