Ortega shot and killed 33-year-old Rafael Jeffers, the owner of the barber shop, before being shot dead by the off-duty police officer who was getting his haircut by another stylist.
The shooter’s motive is unclear but less than an hour earlier, he killed Javier Villegas Cotto and injured another, unnamed victim, in two separate attacks nearby.
It’s unclear if he had a prior record or who his weapon belonged to.
On Saturday at 3.16pm, the unidentified cop was getting his haircut at The Bladi Style, a barber shop in Baltimore, when 38-year-old Carlos Ortega burst in with a weapon
The cop was getting his haircut by someone else in the barber shop when Ortega burst in and shot and killed 33-year-old Rafael Jeffers
In the two earlier incidents, Ortega is thought to have known his victims and shot them after arguing with them, but Baltimore Police Department will not confirm what they were arguing over.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott increased the police budget last year but the Governor says not enough is being done to keep repeat criminals off the streets
His first victim was 44-year-old Javier Villegas Cotto, who he killed one mile away from the barber shop.
Police chiefs shared details of the shooting on Saturday to praise the off-duty cop.
‘That member of our department was armed while off-duty and in plain clothes. Responding to the shooting immediately, and with great bravery produced his firearm and fired at the perpetrator, striking the perpetrator,’ Michael Harrison, Baltimore Police Commissioner said at a press conference.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott told CBS on Sunday: ‘These petty minor disputes ending up with people losing their lives.
‘We have to be grateful that officer was here.’
Baltimore has seen more violence and murders this year than any other on record.
In October 2021, the number of murders in Baltimore County, the largest in the city, were already at 42 – only seven less than the 12-month total record of 49 in 2019.
Before going to the barber shop, the gunman shot and killed 44-year-old Javier Villegas in a separate incident nearby. The pair argued, and then the gunman pulled out his weapon and shot Villegas dead
There have been 295 murders across the entire city this year. The total number for 2020 was 335.
In 2021, there have been 1,500 street robberies, 632 shootings and more than 4,600 reported cases of aggravated assault in city of just 2.3million.
The violence is not necessarily down to a lack of police resources; Mayor Brandon Scott increased the police budget after being elected in 2020.
Governor Larry Hogan says the problem is lenient sentences for repeat offenders who end up back on the streets instead of staying in jail.
‘When crime’s being committed right in front of police officers, when the state’s attorney refuses to prosecute half the crimes, we’re not going to fix the problem, regardless of how many meetings we’re going to have,’ he said earlier this year.
Crime in Baltimore is soaring thanks to what police and politicians say is a lack of prosecutions from the District Attorney. Murders are on coarse to pass last year’s total with just six weeks of the year left
The interior of the barber shop, in a social media photo from its page. The cop was getting his haircut by another stylist when the gunman burst in and shot Jeffers, the owner
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group