Baltimore Police warn East Coast officers after armed man walks into station

Posted at 9:44 PM, Jan 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-06 21:44:34-05

(CNN) — The Baltimore Police Department is warning law enforcement agencies along the East Coast to take extra precautions in protecting their officers after a man carrying a .22 caliber handgun walked into one of the city’s police stations Tuesday morning on orders from the street gang Black Guerilla Family.

Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said the man told officers the gang ordered him into the station to test the security there. Officers smelled marijuana on him and noticed him acting strangely, so they approached him, said Batts. He said the officers searched the man and found the handgun, with a round loaded in the chamber. The man also had cocaine and marijuana, Batts said.

“We are really lucky, for a person walking into a police station fully armed and loaded with guns on him, that it did not end up in a terrible situation,” said Batts.

Police are in the process of charging the 29-year-old man.

“An organized gang in the city of Baltimore sent an armed suspect into our building to see our security, to test our security. That is alarming to us,” he said. “In light of other incidents that have occurred in other cities, it has raised our level of concern.”

Batts said he is calling a meeting with federal agencies including the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration and has already sent an alert to other law enforcement agencies.

“At this time we are taking necessary precautions to protect officers in our facilities,” Batts said.

Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriquez said, “This person did not go in there on his own free will. This person had very little option, according to his statement, which lends credibility to what a dire situation this was.”

FBI spokesperson Minique Crump said the bureau is in communication with Baltimore police and offering assistance, but at this point it is a local matter being handled by Baltimore. Crump said the case is not related to a joint FBI-DHS bulletin sent in October warning law enforcement agencies across the country about potential attacks against police officers. The bulletin was sent after intelligence officials picked up chatter from ISIS members urging attacks against government officials, including law enforcement and military personnel.