Community Rallies For Answers After Fatal Club Shooting

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–A city police officer and a semi-pro football player died in a hail of gunfire outside a local club. All the bullets came from the police officers. Now the community is demanding answers.

Mike Schuh explains that some are calling for drastic changes.

A group of concerned community members went as far as saying that the police commissioner and the mayor should be concerned about keeping their jobs if this investigation is not handled correctly.

They’re angry, and they’re coming together to ask for justice for two men killed in front of the Select Lounge this past weekend: Sean Gamble, 22, a former pro athlete and Officer William Torbitt, 33, who was on duty in plainclothes when shots were fired.

There were 41 shots fired by five officers, including Torbitt.

One group is asking for an FBI investigation.

“I think that we have to use the might and the power of the federal government so that we can expedite what really took place here and have justice for all parties involved,” said Darren Muhammad, Coalition for Concerned Citizens.

At his funeral Thursday, Gamble’s family asked for the same thing.

“We know it’s a mistake, and mistakes happen.  We know that what happened to Sean wasn’t meant to be, but there’s got to be some kind of recourse for the actions taken,” said his uncle, Minister Jacob McNeill.

Torbitt’s family is speaking out for the first time. They are equally heartbroken and equally skeptical of how city police are looking into the shooting.

“This is murder, and I’m saying it will not go unserved and justice will be served,” said Torbitt’s cousin.

“I don’t like the fact that he’s being the fall guy. He’s being implicated in Gamble’s murder, which I don’t believe in my heart that that is true.  I want the truth to come out,” said Torbitt’s aunt, Maria Crow-Eel.

The mayor is looking for an independent agency to review the case.

This community of mainly men says it’s tired of waiting for answers.

“You’ve got to be the mayor for all the citizens of Baltimore,” Muhammad said.

The coalition of these community members invited the mayor, commissioner and all City Council members to the gathering—only Councilman Carl Stokes showed up. The mayor’s office reports that it will soon announce which agency will be reviewing this case.

Also, because of this shooting, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has asked all plainclothes officers to wear uniforms until further notice.

More from Mike Schuh
  • Edward

    why does it take tragedys like this to happen before theis mayor gets rid of this commissioner.he is not been successful with this job.from the racism inside the police department to the poorly handled rape cases.admitting that his officers are poorly trained.just becuase omalley wants him here we dont want him here crime is just as bad as it alwyas was.there is no improvement,just more he has to explain to a public demanding answers,why his police officers fired into a crowd of people,who were also the ones causing the problem.lets be clear that football player cause some of that mess,he is no angel,or victim like they are making him out to be

    • Sean Gambles Aunt

      Please reserve all negative comments until all the facts come out. People don’t know all the facts, but have to have something negative to say just to ride the bandwagon. If you weren’t there, we don’t want to here your negative opinions. The family is rooted and grounded in Jesus, and we know the who the real judge is, and is the only opinion that matters.

      • lynn

        Spare us the Jesus sermon. I mean really. When will we start taking responsibility for our actions instead of thinking that some supreme being is going to hold all of our hands and save us?!

        Action, responsibility are steps in the right direction.

  • JOHN


  • damo

    i doubt the family is going to be happy with the outcome of the investigation when and if the facts come out

  • Matthew Don Pablo Curtian

    My Heart goes out to both families. This should never have happened. But this in my eyes at least is just like the last shooting of an innocent man. The Marine who was shot by a trigger happy Police officer who had his service weapon on him when he went out to drink. Far too often it’s shoot now ask questions later. Why not train them to shoot to wound not shoot to kill.

  • Bernard Mc Kernan

    These clubs are nothing but magnets for trouble. The city needs the revenue so they let the liquor board slide & look the other way. Countless times it has been shown that the owners have previous violations or are convicted felons. Drugs, & drinking alcohol all night fueled with guns make for a mess. The police need better coordinating efforts with their own force & frankly, better police on patrol. The police force in order to accommodate minorities has lowered the standards & there are a lot of suspiciously dumb cops lacking common sense on the force. Commissioner Bealfeld is not to blame. He is just working with what is given him by the mayors office, city council & Gov. O’Malley.

    • Derek Chase

      @Bernard McKernan … “accommodate minorities”???? which planet are you on? Are are you still stuck in (or wish you were back in) 1965 Mississippi

  • Joseph

    “these clubs” (Black hip hop clubs) are a magnet for trouble…how can you say that and im almost certain you have never stepped foot in “these clubs”. Anytime there is drinking involved there is a good chance someone is not going to be able to hold their liquor. That goes from “these clubs” all the way to Camden Yards. So “theses clubs” have nothing to do with it.
    This case is a case of police brutality and no respect for African American youth in Baltimore City. I have gone to clubs in Fells Point, Canton, Power Plant Live and have seen white people fighting like they are on a video game and never do you see police react in an outrageous manner.

  • natalie Mercer

    So What’s up with That ?

  • Reality Check

    Baltimore City had 233 homicides last year.. (98% black on black from robberies, beefs etc.)

    Why are we NOW angry? You weren’t angry before, were you?

    The actions of the uncivilized drew the attention of the police, something happened to cause them to draw their weapons. until we find out, reserve judgment.

    And the next homicide that occur in Baltimore City, I want to see the same pseudo angry that we allll like to show when it’s something that’s involving the police.. mmkay??

    • lynn

      You are so right. They have had over 200 murders for many years now and ‘they’ only raise their voices when the police shoot someone or when a white person shoots someone.
      Black on Black crime that is common and rampant is hardly addressed by ‘them’ the vocal who are not demanding. Don’t worry, they won’t protest too long. They’ll soon tire until the next selective slaughter takes place!!!!!!!

  • Derek Chase

    Rob Cherry needs to go. Bealefield needs to take a step back and seriously and genuinely act upon the concerns of the citizens of Baltimore.

  • Lust

    Everybody wants to blame the police. I have heard several times on the news that the officer was sent to break up a disturbance and while trying to break up the disturbance he was attacked which made him then draw his weapon to protect his self. Not 1 but 2 people have lost their lives and others were also injuried. The others who were also shot and injured were so called “friends” of the 22 year old young man. They need to investigate the police officers along with the other individuals who were shot because believe it or not these so called friends are going to take this to their grave and will never tell the truth to give either one of these families the closure that they need. I do not believe that those 2 men should have lost their lives due to others stupidity. I pray that when this investigation is over and the truth has been exposed that everyone who was involved will be held accountable and I also pray that this investigation will seek closure for the family of the 22 year old man and not just the officer since that’s all the mayor is focused on right now.

  • Civil Trial Begins In City Officer’s 2011 Death Outside Nightclub « CBS Baltimore

    […] Officer William Torbitt was gunned down by police in 2011. […]

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