BALTIMORE – An attempted carjacking in southwest Baltimore ended with the 13-year-old suspect being shot.

The victim is a 73-year-old former Baltimore police officer who fought back, firing a gun he legally owns, reported Fox45Baltimore.

Although the police are calling this is an unfortunate situation, with the age of the suspect in mind, they affirmed the victim had every legal right to fight back. “No matter how you paint it, they were trying to take his vehicle,” said detective Donny Moses with the Baltimore Police Department.

A group of teenagers approached the 73-year-old man as he was eating lunch in his car at Carroll Park Wednesday afternoon, according to the Baltimore Police Department.

“One of the young men opened his car door and displayed what he believed to be a real handgun,” Moses said.

The unidentified former officer fought back. “This young man put himself in a bad predicament. He actually got the worst of it. His friends ran from the scene,” said Moses.

Two days ago LET reported a study conducted by The Washington Post showing how many people have lost their life using a toy gun in a high risk situation; most of the time during the commission of a crime:

Police across the country have been placed in circumstances leading to deadly force with dozens of people carrying realistic-looking toy guns and replica firearms in the last two years, according to a study by The Washington Post.

Eighty-six people have been shot while using a replica firearm since the beginning of 2015. The numbers are evenly split at 43 in 2015 as well as 2016. The figures are based on data compiled by the paper as part of its national database of officer involved shootings that proved fatal.

Four of those killed were under 17 years of age, and seven were over 55. All but five were men, 54 were white, 19 were black and 11 were Hispanic.

Those with a liberal agenda will no doubt make this case about the former cop (legally) carrying a weapon. At LET, we say, “Good for him.” Who knows how this turns out if he’s unarmed. He could be the one lying in the hospital listed in critical condition. (Yes, it could happen from a beating or pistol whipping, even with a replica handgun.)

Sadly, there are questions that will be ignored. For instance, what drove this teenager and his friends to try to carjack this man? Where was this behavior learned? Was there modeling being duplicated? Who did they aspire to be?

Carjacking is a violent crime, with a real gun or a replica. Victims of this type of crime carry emotional scars for years. Losing your property, especially an automobile is one thing, but having it violently taken from you at the barrel of a gun by coercive, threatening, and intimidating suspects (even at 13, and particularly when a group is involved) is devastating.

While the teenager’s family was at the hospital Wednesday night praying he makes it, and hopefully he will, it should not be lost on anyone that his actions caused this event. His head wound has him listed in critical condition.

While the family mourned, they indicated the boy did not own a replica handgun. “No, he don’t have possession of stuff like that,” said his aunt, Shantell Damon. “If he sees one of his friends have that, yea, he’s a teenager. He’s gonna want to hold it, play with it, but no he don’t have possession of stuff like that because his mom don’t allow him to have possessions of stuff like that.”

The victim worked for Baltimore PD in the late 1960s and early 70s and has the proper permits to carry a handgun, according to police.

The Baltimore Police Department has seen a huge uptick in carjacking crimes this year, with many of them committed by teenagers. There are consequences for actions. Financial gain from crime can easily turn on a dime into criminal prosecution, or in this case, potentially death. Officers hope others see the consequences and stop committing these crimes.

According to the latest data reported by the police department, carjackings are up 49% compared to last year. Through Saturday, there were 390 carjackings in Baltimore this year. Last year, there were 262.