Murder Or Self-Defense? Officer’s Trial To Resume Next Week

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Was it self-defense or a senseless murder? That’s what a judge must decide as he hears more dramatic testimony in the trial of Officer Gahiji Tshamba.

Mike Hellgren has the latest on this high-profile case.

The officer’s lawyer says at this point it’s unclear whether Tshamba will take the stand in his own defense.

The first image has been publicly released of the gun used to shoot unarmed Marine Tyrone Brown outside a nightclub.  It’s a shooting Officer Tshamba claims was self-defense, not murder.

On Thursday, witness Trillane Hill testified he has an unobstructed view of the shooting. He told the judge that Brown and Tshamba scuffled.  Then he said Tshamba looked scared as he pulled out his gun, but Brown immediately moved back with his hands in the air, while Tshamba–who was off duty at the time–pulled the trigger over and over.

“It was senseless,” said the victim’s sister Cheantay Kangalee. “It was wrong. And he did nothing wrong. Nothing. How can you call yourself a man of law and take a person’s life the way he did?”

Hill testified that Tshamba shot Brown twice, then he slumped to the side. Then there was a pause before continuous gunfire, and Brown fell to the ground. His sister rushed to his side.

“It was a tragic situation of which there was no necessity and it was uncalled for,” said Dwight Pettit, Brown family lawyer.

The assistant examiner testified that Brown’s body was riddled with bullets, that two of the shots were fired from a distance of just two inches away. Brown was hit in the liver, stomach, spleen, neck and thigh, and the gun was just inches away of pressing against his skin as it fired.

Brown’s alcohol level was almost triple the limit for legal drunkenness at .22 percent. Tshamba refused a breathalyzer test.

And according to the medical examiner, medical tests could not determine whether Brown was going toward or away from the weapon when he was shot.

The trial is expected to resume next week.

More from Mike Hellgren
  • golferboy

    Who Care’s…

  • alice

    Hang that dirty dog high. That former police did his dirt standing behind his badge.

    That was not the first time this former police man shoot some one. so he was leaded to believe that he was living the wild wild west, so he killed whom ever he targeted.

    I care what this dirt bag cop out come of his trail. he took a man life.
    I care because the next time it could be your life or my family member’s life or any one life taken for no good reason. Enough is enough. set the murder as an example for all people to witness that the power of God never fails and never will fail. It is men that failed God !

  • Baltimore's Best

    how pathetic…… a Black Police Officer killing an unarmed Black Marine, and now this 15 year ex-police man is going to prison for the rest of his life….how long do you think he’ll last in Jail….i’m guessing maybe a couple of years at the most…..what a waste of two lives and all the sorrow thats brought with it.

  • Larry

    Off duty police should not take their weapon when they are out drinking. There does not need to be a law for this, its just common sense. There have been several incidences where off duty officers were drunk and unruly. Thankfully the others did not pull their weapon. This guy should be in jail for life. He won’t be in with the general population. They don’t do that to police.

  • A friend

    Golferboy…Tyrone’s wife.children,family and friends care!!!!!

  • Wot Woo

    Rest assured that the kangaroo courts will side with the cop! Never fails.



  • concerned citizen

    They really need to gun him down the way he did the victim! Hoe dare u think u have the power to take s life whenever u see fit! I pray st judgement day the Lord have mercy on ur soul! But dnt think u don’t b held accountable for ur actions! If he feared for his life aren’t policemen trained to take down an unarmed person without using a weapon! I’m truly starting to believe all BCPD are the worse n we cannot depend on these selfish men n women what a shamrock our city is becoming! My prayers are with the Brown family!

  • concerned citizen

    Sorry guys touch screens are the worse when typing! So many typos but I’m sure my point was clear!

  • A

    I’m sure he’ll get away with it like most police officers do. All these police departments really need to watch their trigger happy cops!

  • Mz.B

    I have no doubts that our so called legal system wiill go light on this pos.. however I hope that this family who has suffered so greatly knows that even though our legal system may not be on their side… their community is!

  • Very confused

    Why is this joker still being referee to as Marine? He was not on active duty. Wasn’t he now a drunk, unemployed , mental patient , with a criminal record for assaulting anyone from his own family to strangers. I don’t beleave the cop had to shoot him so many times but after serving as a United States Marine for 24 years and being CSM I’m very dispointed that the media keeps referring to him by the very Honorable term US Marine! Please don’t dis honor the Marines by referring to this guy like he was one of us when he was killed.

    • Larry

      You dipstick–he was a Marine. The Marines were in FULL FORCE at his funeral. His active duty and decorations for service in Iraq qualify him to be referred to as a Marine for life. What happened to once a Marine always a Marine!! Go talk to R. Lee Ermy. He STILL refers to himself as a Marine. You need a tune up. Semper Fi !!

  • A Friend

    Very confused….you are clearly very confused.

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