A police shooting protest in Baltimore ended on a somber note as an officer tried desperately to save an activist’s 1-month-old baby girl who stopped breathing and died Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The mother took a break from picketing the shooting of a knife-wielding man to feed her child inside the Mamma Lucia’s pizza shop at E. 33rd St. and Greenmount around 3:30 p.m. Seconds later, she told a customer that her little girl was dead, according to a witness.
“The baby started turning blue in the face, mouth open wide,” Shawn Batson told the Daily News.
“She was just too distraught to say anything, she could only say ‘Somebody, please help my baby.”
The crisis forced both sides — police and demonstrators — to put aside their differences
The customer rushed outside and asked an officer he found on patrol to help.
Baltimore police Major Richard Gibson was visibly distraught after trying to resuscitate a baby girl who stopped breathing at the rally.
(Duane G. Davis via Facebook)
Baltimore police said Major Richard Gibson performed CPR inside the restaurant until paramedics arrived and rushed the baby out cradled in a pink blanket. The child was declared dead at a nearby hospital.
The disheartened cop stood outside the restaurant visibly distraught as first responders tried reviving the baby in the ambulance, according to a Facebook video.
Batson said the baby regained a fleeting pulse before weakening again.
The former Baltimore youth commissioner later met with the mother at the hospital and heard her screaming, “What happened? Everything was okay.”
Community activist Duane (Shorty) Davis, a critic of Baltimore police in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death in police custody in 2015, recorded the video and in it, he commends Gibson for doing his best to save the child.
Major Richard Gibson, pictured in uniform, was commended by his police colleagues and protesters for trying to save the child.
(Major Richard Gibson via Twitter)
He told Gibson he “did what he had to do for real.”
After the baby was taken to a nearby hospital, Gibson and his fellow officers reportedly ordered pizza for the rattled activists, according to the City Paper in Baltimore.
“You did all you could do. It’s a traumatic experience,” Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith tweeted at Gibson.
The mother, who was not immediately identified, was among a group of 30 protesters gathered the site where cops shot and wounded a man armed with a knife in each hand Friday morning.
The man has not been identified and remains in critical condition at a local hospital, the City Paper added.
Cops crowd around the site of a shooting that left an armed man wounded, sparking protests on Saturday where the child died.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the armed man was threatening people and refused to drop the weapons.
A stun gun had no effect on him so officers opened fire, striking him twice, he said.
Both officers, Gary Brown and Supreme Jones, involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation and have never been involved in a shooting before.
Brown is a 16-year veteran of the Baltimore police force while Jones has been with the department for only two years.
With News Wire Services