On 13th November, Saturday two hardworking Baltimore barbers were killed in a shooting spree across East Baltimore before an off-duty officer intervened and killed the gunman. The incident was all caught on a jaw-dropping video.
“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families who lost their lives very unnecessarily,” said Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
According to Baltimore Police reports, Carlos Ortega, 38, shot three barbers, killing two of them, at three different locations before he was shot and killed.
Officers were first called to the 5000 block of East Oliver street after reports of a shooting at approximately 2:32 p.m. Saturday. There, investigators say officers found a man with multiple gunshot wounds.
Then Ortega drove to Eastern Avenue where he got into another argument with 44-year-old Javier Villegas Cotto. He shot and killed Cotto.
People who work nearby said they heard at least 10 gunshots and saw the aftermath: a barber killed on the sidewalk in front of where he worked.
Qais, who works at the neighboring Eastern Pizza said:
“He was doing his job you know. He comes here to buy food all the time. He was a cool dude. He was really nice.”
The Blaze reported shooting incident:
As seen in the dramatic footage captured by a surveillance camera inside the barbershop, Carlos Ortega, who’s seen in a white tank top, walked into the business and almost immediately opened fire, shooting an employee to death. As shots rang out, the man in the barber’s chair remained eerily calm as Ortega burst in and shot the barber. However, that was all about to change.
(Content warning: Graphic footage):
HERO: Off-duty Baltimore police officer shoots and kills gunman that murdered hairdresser.
*WARNING: Graphic* pic.twitter.com/K5hng4wd7v
— Katie Daviscourt?? (@KatieDaviscourt) November 19, 2021
According to Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, luckily the off-duty officer, who was an armed police sergeant in plain clothes, quickly turned the tables. After getting out of the chair and moving out of the gunman’s way the cop “with great bravery produced his firearm.” After pulling out his own weapon, the officer fatally shot Ortega, stopping him from inflicting further harm on those present.
Sadly, it was too late for the Bladi Style barber as well as other victims who Ortega is accused of shooting earlier that same day during two other shootings in the city. The two earlier shootings left one 44-year-old man — also a barber — dead and another person critically injured.
According to The Baltimore Sun reports:
“We’re processing three different scenes in three parts of the city,” Police Commissioner Harrison explained. “While this perpetrator has expired from his injuries, we will still need answers to these questions,” Harrison added. “We are working to determine the connectivity, which is a likely connectivity.”
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The officer, who was not injured during the exchange, has since been hailed a hero with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott lauding his heroic actions in a statement on the incident. “This is something the average person wouldn’t do,” Scott admitted. “This is something that our officers do each and every day in the City of Baltimore. We don’t know what would have happened if he was not able to respond in that way, and how many more incidents could have happened tonight here in Baltimore City.”
Indeed, we shudder to imagine what might have happened, had this officer not been present. This is yet another stark reminder that it usually takes a good guy with a gun to end the rampage of a crazed gunman, intent on doing harm. Thankfully, Carlos Ortega picked the wrong place and time to attempt to inflict carnage or this story might have had an even bloodier ending.