Baltimore police were bracing for further unrest Monday following reports of an officer shooting of a young black man — reports that police said later were “unfounded.”
Multiple people, including a Fox News host, tweeted just before 3 p.m. that they saw police shoot a man and use pepper spray on nearby people, according to Mediaite. Baltimore Police said it was investigating reports of a man being shot “multiple times” on its Twitter feed, before announcing within the hour that the reports were untrue.
“The reports of a man being shot at North and Pennsylvania Ave are NOT true,” Baltimore Police wrote. “Officers have arrested a man for a handgun at the location.” According to CNN, police said a man accidentally shot himself after throwing a gun to the ground. One reporter on the scene said EMTs arrived and took the injured man away on a stretcher.
Fox News host Shepard Smith later corrected the original report about the shooting. “We were wrong. Our people on scene were wrong,” he said. “Theirs was an error that was honest and straightforward and our duty as journalists is not to make mistakes and when we make mistakes we are duty-bound to correct them immediately and as clearly as possible.”
The city remains on edge after the death in police custody of Freddie Gray sparked numerous protests and unrest in Baltimore that culminated in riots one week ago. On Friday, Maryland state’s attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that six police officers would face charges, including second degree murder, in Gray’s death.