Fallen Officer Honored By Family & Friends

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore City police officer was shot and killed by his fellow officers amid a flurry of chaos outside a local nightclub.  Tuesday night, family, friends and colleagues remembered the fallen officer.

Kai Jackson has more on the emotional vigil.

City police are keeping details of their investigation close to the vest, but those in the neighborhood where fallen officer William Torbit Jr. worked are vocal in their support for him.

On a cold, snowy night, the warmth of love was felt at a candlelight vigil for Torbit in the West Baltimore neighborhood where he patrolled.

“He put people first,” said his cousin, Tim Massey.

Some of the victims’ family members are demanding answers, but it appears they’re going to have to wait for a completed police investigation.

City police detectives are still canvassing the neighborhood along Paca and Franklin streets, trying to find more witnesses to the Sunday shootings that left two people dead, including 33-year-old city police officer William Torbit, who was on-duty but not in uniform.  Police say five city officers fired a total of 41 shots as they tried to break up a fight outside of the Select Lounge nightclub.

The mayor is promising complete accuracy.

“We’re doing a thorough investigation internally and I welcome an external review.  We need to get to the bottom of the situation for everyone’s sake,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

At the Select Lounge, managers and owners won’t comment.  Their attorney says, “Until more information becomes available, it is our hope that no conclusion will be drawn or judgment made about Select Lounge, especially since the incident took place outside of Select Lounge.”

One resident of the Ravenwood Nursing Home and Rehab Center could see from his fourth floor room everything that happened in the parking lot.  Right as we were about to interview him, detectives stopped us so that they could interview him themselves.

Sean Gamble, a 22-year-old father, fiance and semi-professional football player, also died in the melee.  He was memorialized at a candlelight vigil in Woodlawn Monday by hundreds of friends and family demanding justice.

“This is not just going to be washed over like it didn’t happen because it did and it hurts all of us,” said family friend Nadine Williams Holmes.

“I think Commissioner Bealefeld is doing the right thing by waiting several more weeks to release any more information,” said public safety expert Rob Weinhold.

Weinhold says the volume of evidence and testimony from dozens of witnesses needs to be sorted carefully by detectives.

“So that ultimately when the police department releases information, it is credible and based on fact and not speculation,” Weinhold said.

Autopsies on the two victims have been completed, but police say they are still waiting for reports from the medical examiner’s office.

The shootings injured four other people, including another Baltimore City police officer, who was shot in the foot.  All of those victims are expected to recover.

Comments

One Comment

  1. MiMiD'Vine says:

    too many trigger happy police… Are we the new NEW YORK with the police corruption? 41 bullets… OVERKILL. Baltimore is murder central…

    1. sullivjop says:

      they went in shot to kill and you have to wonder would there be a investigation done outside the city police if a police officer was not involved what about the other person who had there liife taken for no reason there has been alot of problens with the city police in the news this year and most of it seens to be covered up thank you to the mayer for asking for an out sider to come in and in and take over

  2. kaytee says:

    Something definitely is not right with this picture. First and foremost, when have police been instructed to shoot into a crowd or when innocent bystanders are in the way? Second, how does one start shooting not knowing the situation or who they are shooting at? The story in itself does not make rational sense. Why would the police that was killed pull out his gun in the first place if the assailant had no weapon? Why would he even start shooting (at close range at that)? It sickend me to see another black youth with promise killed in a senseless manner. It was stated that once that the assailant came to the aid of a woman who was being harrassed by the officer that was killed. What happen to her? Why has this not been stated again. Perhaps the officer that was shot was not in good favor with his fellow officers. Who knows. Once again, the story dose not add up. I’m sure there will be a cover-up, as always when the police do something perceived as wrong. We will see.

    1. john says:

      Typical response, what about the black police officer that died a hero doing his job??? There’s a black youth that was more than promising, he made something of himself. Why does race matter anyway. The fact is the officer responded for a distress call from a fellow officer because a bunch of animals that call themselves people can’t control themselves as usual and tried to overwhelmed them.

      By the way, the women who needed to be taken up for was beating on someones car with her shoe, another animal that can’t control herself, so don’t feel sorry for her she deserved it
      the bottomline are the ones who cry about the police the most are usually criminals…PERIOD!!!!

      …and no, i am not a cop, just a citizen that’s fed up with the nonsense

      rest in peace Officer Torbit, good job to you and the bcpd who do a thankless job against unsurmountable odds!!

  3. Julie says:

    @ Kaytee…..i definitely agree with you 100 %

  4. Ann says:

    Just crazy. R.I.P Sean. You will be missed

  5. Kai says:

    R.I.P. Will, my heart is deeply saddened words can not express my shock and grief to hear of this. My prayers are with your family and loved ones and I have no other choice by to rely on the fact that the creator made the call to call you home. I will not jump to judgement nor conclusion but know this has happened for a purpose. My condolensces to the gamble family as well.

  6. Matthew Don Pablo Curtian says:

    Ok the Police that are out on the street now have a shoot first ask questions later mentality and they don’t care who gets in they’re way. We need all new police officers trained and these jokers off of the streets. My heart Goes out to Sean’s family. May you rest in peace man.

    1. ert says:

      You generaliize and say “police” So even if it turns out that the police were in fact wrong in this situation you’re going to blame ALL POLICE? That is just stupid. A 22 year old kid shot a congresswoman….does that mean all white 22year old kids are potential assasins? An accountant abuses his wife…..are all accountants wife beaters? An african american shoots another african american in the city….does that mean all african americans are violent? I middle eastern woman carries a suicide bomb into a crowded marker…are all middle eastern women / muslims terroriests? Do you see my point? Even if the police were wrong (which nobody knows for sure yet) does that really mean all police are now bad.

      1. Matthew Don Pablo Curtian says:

        oh I am very sorry. Thank you for correcting me. Baltimore City Police. I’ve seen it way too many times that Baltimore City police shot first ask questions later and find that someone innocent winds up dead.

      2. Jimmy says:

        @Matthew Don Pablo Whatever, that depends on your definition of “Innocent”

      3. Matthew Don Pablo Curtian says:

        What About that Marine who was shot by a COP who had his service weapon on his person while he was off duty and was drinking? When I was in the Military we were always told to leave our weapon locked up and at home if we went out like that. I love that most of these Cops get away with things because people want to feel sorry for them walking the beat every night before going home to they’re bed. How quickly we forget the victims if they’re not Police.

      4. sulljop says:

        it is not all police but there has been alot of things in the news this year about city police and sonething needs to be done to the ones who are not doing there jobs correct just because they are police does not give them the right to do a crime and get away with it suspension is not good enough for what has happened ask there families and may god be with in their hearts to help them through this and give them the strength they need at this time

    2. ert says:

      @ Mathew Don Pablo Curtain……you mentioned the officer who killed the military veteran not long ago. To refresh your memory, he DIDN’T get away with it. He is being charged with 1st degree murder, as he definitely should. With that being said, do you know who charged him? THE BALTIMORE CITY POLICE DEPT. He didn’t get away with it. Not only that, but if you remember news coverage from that incident, the police department wanted to charge the officer before the states attornys office was ready. There was no cover up and definitely no feet dragging. They knew he was wrong and they were holding him accountable. The only reason that he wasn’t arrested on the scene was because of the LEOBR, according to news releases at that time.

  7. Teary Eyed says:

    Lives lost…and for what? All because a young man was raised to come to the aide of a woman in distress. I many not know all the details, but I do know that
    families are greiving. Just (2) senseless deaths to add to Baltimore’s sickening crime rate. Mr. Gamble’s death must not be in vain. This was one of the declining few positive male role models that we have left in Baltimore. This is not to say that the death of the officer was any less important. To the BCPD..what ever happened to shoot to disable and not to kill? Now that you can see that the excessive force caused the life of one of your own. Please continue to do your job but without such carlessness in regards to human life. My prayers are with the families and the entire Baltimore city/county ares.

    1. El Hefe says:

      Police never shoot to disable. Nothing less than center mass will do. Once you make the decision (rightly or wrongly) to use your service weapon, the intent is to shoot to kill.

  8. Sad One says:

    Just because there was an officer down doesn’t mean you get trigger happy. Secure, assist, and guard your fellow man and gain control of the situation….When you have between 5 and 6 officers (blindly) shooting…..at least 41 rounds into an open crowd, you obviously have no regards for human life…What does this say about your training?This could have turned out to be a massacre!!!! Also-what would have happened if one the officers had taken the life of one of their own children that was in the crowd? They have taken the life one somedoby’s child (2) as a matter of fact. Will this cause a change in the way that the BCPD responds to a disturbance? You will never be able to give back the life of Mr. Gamble and Officer Torbit.

  9. Owings Mills says:

    So like Baltimore. Everyone jumps to conclusions and knows what happened before the REAL story comes out.

  10. poloice31 says:

    A 8 YR VET ON THE FORCE AND NOT ONE UNIFORMED OFFICER KNEW THIS OFFICER AND I CONCUR THAT THE CORRUPTION HAS TO STOP IF THAT POSSIBLE! BUT THE POINT IN FACT THEY SHOULD KNEW WHO HE WAS WHAT DISTRICT AND WHY WAS HE THERE! JUST SOME YEARS AGO TRAINEE SHAWN HITTON IN NEW YORK HANDS TIED BEHIND HIS BACK WITH A BULLET IN HIS HEAD

  11. John D. says:

    Baltimore City… ought to just pull the Police out entirely and watch it tear itself apart. Save joe-tourist who unfortunately finds himself stuck in that city, the people here can hardly be called human beings.

  12. Donna Cleveland says:

    I agree it has become a real jungle i grew up in East Baltimore and have watched it deteriorate over the last 30 yrs I now live in the UK where we don’t have the gun problem The city of Balto is not safe for anyone and although i don’t like to generalize if you step foot inside the city lines you are taking your chances it really has become a free for all. The police should get out while they can the city is unsaveable

  13. Tammy says:

    NOBODY who has written a comment on here was not there when the situation happened so it is seasy for you to say what you would have done. Not all police officers are corrupt and I thank those that put their lives on the line to help protect what’s left of this city because I sure wouldn’t do it. If any of you get into a gunfight, please ask the person that can possibly take your life, “Hey, what’s the situation”. It’s a sad story, but people fighting at a club is so played out and i wish that we could all start to use some self control. Maryland laws and the “justice system” is what’s fueling this self-destructive behavior. Sorry to say that a lot of ppl don’t grow up in an environment with a strong foundation, so they need to be taught by the law how to act accordingly. When the law doesn’t teach that, but instead reinforces the criminal behavior because of all the slaps on the wrists it gives these offenders then this is what you get. Most of these ppl who commit murders and are terrorizing the city have a rap sheet as long as the Nile and everyone looking dumbfounded as if they don’ t know why the hell all of this stuff is going on. GET THESE PEOPLE OFF OF THE STREETS!! BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY!!! If someone has 10 handgun convictions, what in the world do you think they are gonna do when they are given another stint of good ol’ probation or the infamous stet??

  14. Owings Mills says:

    What are you police haters going to do when it comes out Torbit was at fault for his own death? How are you going to handle that?

  15. TISHA J says:

    I DNT CARE WHAT ANYBDY SAY BALTIMORE POLICE IS DIRTY THEY DO WHAT THEY WANT SAY WHAT THEY WANT AND NTHING IS BEING DONE. MY PRAYERS GOES OUT TO THE GAMBLE FAMILY PERIOD

  16. poloice31 says:

    This For Tammy you must be A Police officer or in some kind Criminal Justice System or a Correctional Officer. You are to Young to know whats going on in the Police Dept. You have a Point there about CORRUPTION! Number 1 Not All But 90% are 3300 hundred Police Officer i don’t think you knew that., http://www.officer.com . I,m not saying you,re wrong But the Death Penality thats for people who do bloody crimes thats for the hell of it with a record.www.policeone.com check it

  17. john says:

    Seriously, get over yourselves, most people on here haven’t sent one condolence to officer torbit or his family. The fact is people can’t control themselves in public. you act like animals and when the police have to make you follow the law which you should’ve done in the first place, it’s their fault, you act like their picking on you for no good reason. That’s rediculous!!! Take some accountability for yourselves, stop making excuses and do the right thing.

    To officer torbit, his family, and the bcpd, you guys are the best, great job and thank you!!!! Officer Torbit, may you rest in peace!!

  18. TAMEKA says:

    AGREE WITH JOHN!!!! RIP WILL!!!!

  19. TIRED says:

    OWINGS MILLS F U AND YOUR COMMENT I KNOW WILL PERSONALLY AND FEEL SORRY FOR DUM ASS CAUSE YOU DIDNT GET A CHANCE TO HAVE HIM BE APART OF YOUR LIFE YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE SHOT FOR BEING STUPIED

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