ATF Focuses on 'Worst of the Worst' in Baltimore
Incidents such as the Thursday shooting in Hampden are infrequent during the agency's operations, official says.
It isn't uncommon for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to disrupt criminal enterprises in Baltimore, but operations can turn ugly when violent suspects are targeted.
The shooting of a robbery suspect in Hampden on Thursday brought more attention to the federal law enforcement's activities, spokesman Mike Campbell said.
"We’re doing things every day and a lot of it goes under the radar," he said.
Campbell used a relatively smooth operation, which resulted in 22 members of the Dead Man Incorporated gang being indicted on violent racketeering charges, as an example of the kind of work the agency does in Baltimore.
"Most of what we do goes forward without a hitch," Campbell said.
However, he added that incidents like the one in the 3300 block of Clipper Mill Road, are happening more often as the ATF goes after the most dangerous criminals.
"Because we’re starting to see more violent criminals out there, we’re focusing our efforts on the worst of the worst," Campbell said.
During the raid, federal agents and Baltimore police surrounded a group of six individuals who were being investigated for a series of armed robberies.
Four of the suspects then jumped into a car, and the driver tried to run over two agents. One of the agents fired and hit the driver in the right shoulder blade. After he was shot, the driver rammed two police vehicles.
The occupants of the car were later arrested.
"You can see with the people we’ve investigated recently, it’s a different kind of criminal that’s willing to harm law enforcement. Imagine what they’d do to a civilian," Campbell said.