Baltimore, MD – A driver was fatally shot after he went after a squeegee guy with a baseball bat at an intersection in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Thursday.
Baltimore police said that 48-year-old Timothy Reynolds was driving through the intersection of Light and East Conway streets at about 4:30 p.m. on July 7 when a man with a squeegee approached his vehicle, WTTG reported.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said a confrontation erupted between the two men and then Reynolds drove through the intersection and parked his vehicle, The Washington Post reported.
Commissioner Harrison said Reynolds got out of his car with a baseball bat and confronted the squeegee man.
“He swung the bat at one or more of those squeegee workers,” the commissioner told reporters at a press briefing after the incident.
“In return, one of the squeegee workers pulled out a gun and fired, striking this male victim,” he said.
Commissioner Harrison said police don’t know whether Reynolds actually struck anyone with his bat, The Washington Post reported.
Reynolds was transported to a hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead.
Police said the group of squeegee workers fled the scene, The Washington Post reported.
No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
Detectives were combing through video from the scene from a variety of sources, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Commissioner Harrison said it was the second incident involving squeegee workers at that same intersection on the same day.
Hours before Reynolds was shot, Baltimore police confiscated a pellet gun from a squeegee worker after an altercation ensued when employees of the Mayor’s Office of African American Male Engagement were attempting to do outreach in the area, The Baltimore Sun reported.
“This is a very complex situation where someone took matters into his own hands, whatever you believe about that,” he told reporters.
The presence of squeegee workers on the streets of Baltimore has been a flashpoint in the community for years, The Baltimore Sun reported.
There have been numerous confrontations between drivers and the young men bearing spray bottles and squeegees who frequently accost driver’s vehicles and wash their windshields without permission and then demand payment to let them proceed.
City officials have refused to intervene and claim the presence of the squeegee workers is symptomatic of the city’s poverty problem and should be addressed with social services, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Baltimore launched an initiative to help the squeegee workers become employed in the hospitality industry in December of 2021.
“This is about figuring out how we can support what they need, so they’re not driven to panhandling, which is essentially what squeegeeing is,” Baltimore Deputy Mayor for Equity, Health, and Human Services Faith Leach, said when the program was launched.