Viewing Held For Officer Killed In Front Of Club

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — Hundreds paid their final respects to the city police officer shot to death allegedly by his colleagues.

Derek Valcourt has details on the service and the latest on the investigation.

William Torbit is being remembered as one of the best cops on the beat, but there are still a lot of questions about how he died.

Fellow officers are among the hundreds saying their last goodbyes to Torbit, 33.

“He was an officer and a gentleman and you could tell because the people in the neighborhood really respected him,” said Janice, a family friend.

The plainclothes officer was killed Jan. 9 as he was trying to break up a fight outside of the Select Lounge nightclub in downtown Baltimore.  Police say he was shot 20 times by his fellow officers who saw him with a gun and did not realize he was a cop.

Sean Gamble, 22, was also killed in the melee.  Four others were shot but survived.  In all, there were a total of 41 shots fired that night and police guns were the only weapons used.

“There’s nothing that I can think of to justify 41 shots being fired into a crowd,” said attorney A. Dwight Pettit.

Pettit says he’s been contacted by almost all of the victims in the shooting, including Torbit’s family.  He calls it a clear case of excessive police force.

“I have no faith in the internal investigation of the Baltimore City police force whatsoever,” Pettit said.  “What needs to take place is an immediate stand-down by the Baltimore City police department in favor of the state’s attorney’s office of Baltimore City and also I think in this particular case, there has been a violation of civil rights and that’s what gives the United States’ attorney’s office jurisdiction.”

The mayor has called for an independent investigation into what happened, but so far, no agency has been chosen to conduct that investigation.  City police say their own look into the case will take another week and a half.

The state’s attorney’s office refused to say if they would investigate the case, saying they would not comment on the police investigation.  Torbit will be laid to rest Wednesday.  Funeral services will be held at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

Funeral services for Gamble were held last week.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • Jerry

    I’m getting tired of every time 9 times out of ten when an african american is involved in a shooting and is arrested 1 of three things happen,
    1. The parent say’s they didn’t do it.
    2.Civil Rights were violated.
    3.Discrimanation is claimed.
    When is enough gonna be enough.

  • Owings Mills

    A. Dwight Pettit, you dirty dog….go ahead and start your trouble. Can’t wait for you to look a fool again. Your boy Torbit caused his own death by spraying the crowd with bullets because he was angry he got beat up. All of the victims, minus Torbit, were shot by Torbit. The other 4 officers (2 white males, 2 black females) shot Torbit mistaking him for a common street thug so I’m having a hard time figuring out where the violation of civil rights happened. When are you going to learn to sit back and wait before you get involved Pettit, you P.O.S.?

  • Chyna W

    I belive that it is umjust for the officer who was killed for the city not to find no one at fault for this brutal death, especially while he was doing what he was trained to do as a police officer on and off of duty. If was hired and trained to protect life and yet his own was taken and no one will speak on his behalf. That shows the public that its is not hornorable to serve and protect in this city or for this country when you can be gunned down by your own colleages, who are so afraid of the crime in this city that they feel intimidated even when they are joined with thier fellow officers. My heart goes out to those who choose to protect other in are the ones who need the protecting. SAD

  • secquoia

    No matter what had happened the night my fellow hero torbit was shot down he was doing his job. so for you to say he cause his own death you might as well caused yours. torbit help the pennsylavinia avenue community from my own point of view i Live on pennsylavnia avenue and love torbit very much like he was a uncle i never had. r.i.p black secquoia mrs.moore greatgranddaughter love you see you when i get there

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