A father and son armed with a pistol and a semiautomatic rifle were ready to open fire on other people Thursday before they were killed by two police officers, who fired 56 rounds during the late-afternoon encounter in an East Baltimore neighborhood, police said.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Friday that officers on patrol watched Matthew V. Wood Jr., 43, and his son, Kimani Johnson, 18, pull up on East Lanvale Street near Green Mount Cemetery about 4 p.m. and emerge from a vehicle holding weapons.
Officials said police thought the men were poised to shoot at a group of people on the other side of the street.
“If not for the Baltimore Police Department yesterday, we could have had a mass shooting on our hands, where several innocent lives could have easily been taken,” Davis said at a news conference at police headquarters.
Neither Wood nor Johnson fired, Davis said, but he commended the officers for preventing the men from shooting. At the news conference, police displayed a large pink rifle they say Wood was carrying.
“We don’t run from bad guys with guns. We engage them,” Davis said. “We fired 56 rounds yesterday until this threat was eliminated.”
Two law enforcement sources said investigators think Wood and Johnson were affiliated with the Black Guerrilla Family gang, which is believed to be fueling much of the violence in some city neighborhoods.