Officer Accused Of Killing Marine Takes The Stand

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A Baltimore police officer takes the stand. He’s accused of killing an unarmed Marine outside a city nightclub. On Wednesday, he testified in his own defense.

Mike Hellgren explains what Officer Gahiji Tshamba had to say.

Tshamba says without a doubt, his life was in danger. Under cross-examination, he said his account differs from some eyewitnesses, even some people called by his own defense team.

Tshamba had no blood on the white shirt he was wearing, no injuries to his hands or neck, despite his testimony that he and Tyrone Brown were in a physical struggle when he shot him several times at close range.

“The only blood at that scene was where Mr. Brown lay after he fell,” said James Rhodes, defense attorney.

It’s the first time Tshamba gave his own account of the night he shot an unarmed Marine, saying it started when Brown grabbed his female friend’s buttocks and then tried to hit her.

Then Tshamba says he told Brown, “I’m a police officer. Put your hands up.  Back away…down on your knees.”

He says Brown refused. He then took out his weapon. Brown swung at him, hitting his shoulder, then chased him down.

Tshamba testified, “I was scared. I was in fear.”

He then said he fired the gun. But Brown kept coming, hands out reaching for the weapon.

“It did not appear that he was being shot,” Tshamba testified. “He was still coming toward me the entire time.”

The two came in contact, struggling.

“He was overpowering me,” Tshamba told the judge.  “I believed that he was going to take the weapon from me.  He was literally trying to rip the weapon from my hands.”

Tshamba says he shot until Brown released his grip and then retreated.

“I didn’t know where I shot him,” Tshamba said.

“He answered the questions openly and honestly,” Rhodes said. “Honestly, I expected a much longer cross-examination than we received this morning. But the truth is the truth.”

The judge also heard from Charles Key, who wrote the Baltimore City Police policy on use of force. He testified the shooting was justified because Brown assaulted a woman, refused police orders, and tests showed that Brown had a blood alcohol level three times the legal level. Combined with his Marine training, that made him a danger to the officer.

The defense is very close to wrapping up its case, and prosecutors have refused to comment.

The defense resumes its case Thursday morning. The judge may make a ruling by the end of the week.

More from Mike Hellgren
Comments

One Comment

  1. SHANTA says:

    WHATEVER MAN!

  2. rob stationary says:

    This guy is another cop coward, scared to take a possible “A” kick n the first thing they do is draw a weapon ,,

    1. Kareem says:

      He’s a professional, not a thug in the street. If he was overwhelmed, and the suspect took his weapon, he could have easily have killed him, and now you got another gun on the street also. But I guess he should have allowed himself to be killed to prove he’s not a coward for idiots like you.

  3. williejoe says:

    Fred, Shouldn’t you be helping Wilma about now with the dishes? She finds you on the internet, she gonna kick yer dic loose.

  4. crawdog says:

    Typical pig, taking advantage off the badge, I say deport him. If the Marine assaulted a women in a club for grabbing her bottom let me tell you this cop probably should have had half the dudes on thieir knees arresting them. Remember by his own account he tried to hit her, BUT DIDN’t. Guess what anybody can say thier a cop, as by his own account thats all he did, heck anybody can say “I’m a police officer”. He didn’t show his badge. I say he”s a whimp who hides behind his badge, and was getting his ass kicked and was imbarrassed and resorted to deadly force. Let me say this , alot of the cops we have are like this, these were the guys in school who wanted to be someone but didnt have the guts to do anyrhing. That pig should be put to death!!

    1. Kareem says:

      He’s not supposed to get his ass whipped, and allow his weapon to be taken away from him idiot.

      1. concerned says:

        Then they need much better hand to hand training.

  5. Knows Firearms says:

    Isn’t there a rule about cops NOT carrying a gun into a bar?? 12 shots is overkill. All he had to do was cap his knee. What about the doctrine of meet force with the same amount of force. This crazed cop shot an UNARMED man!! Why did the cop only declare himself as a cop one time????

    Here’s what really happened. This African Male cop had his EGO messed with by the Marine touching his property. The cop should be put in jail for a variety of crimes, including second degree murder.

    1. Kareem says:

      If you know firearms, you should know that just because you shoot someone in the leg or arm, they still have the ability to attack you. And I’d like to see you hit a target that small that’s moving, while under stress.

      1. Knows Firearms says:

        “you should know that just because you shoot someone in the leg or arm, they still have the ability to attack you. And I’d like to see you hit a target that small that’s moving, while under stress.

        Correct. I would normally do a double tap on a 10K zone, check the response and repeat as needed. However, I am that good of a shot. Besides he was what? 10 feet away. If I can’t center myself for the second or two needed to pop off an accurate shot..I shouldn’t carry. Remember, this was an UNARMED person. Notice I didn’t say arm, I said Leg. Meaning near the top of the leg. I wouldn’t attempt to shoot his knee as written. My bad

        What about the other comments? No opinion of them? Remember this guy heritage began in Rwanda. EGO killer now goes to jail.

  6. what i think says:

    i look at it as self defense the marine was drunk he fought the cop the cop walked away the marine came after him tryning to attack once again he tried taking his gun so somebody was gonna get shot either way not one witness took the stand and said the cop was in the wrong…the marine sister even testfied against her bro saying that she tried holding him back but he was consistant to attack the cop…only thing i say is that the cop shot with the intentions to kill 12shots is kinda extreme thats the only thing thats gonna mess him up….(my opinion)like a ass hole everyone has one

    1. Kareem says:

      I’m glad there’s at least one intelligent person on here. FYI, the 12 shots looks extreme, but sometimes when individuals are under the infuence, they don’t respond the same way to pain and injury a normal person would. But I do agree with you

  7. Precious emt says:

    I agree cops shouldnt carry weapon if they consuming anything that can hender there decision! He is using the typical cover up plee! He has previous write up for shooting someone before while drunk! And the smart thing wouldve been for him to call for back up stay clear to they arrive! Man he guilty dont let this marine death go invain!

  8. Kareem says:

    Some of you are idiots. Please educate yourself on rules and regulations. Or better yet, try actually doing law enforcement, and stop watching movies and tv. Maybe the marine should have done what he was told, but I guess in the minds of you idiots it’s ok to not listen to the police. And I supposed the officer should have allowed him to take his weapon away too. FYI, shooting someone in the knee or arm does not incapacitate them, especially if they’re under the influence.

  9. Active Duty Soldier says:

    There are always levels of force, drawing your weapon is never the first unless there is presentation from the subject. I am an Army MP from Baltimore, I am also a female. I would not have drawn my weapon first. However, I also have combatives training, and tours of duty under my belt. I wouldve went hand to hand, if that didn’t work, and I was on duty, I’d call for back-up. If you have to draw your weapon, be prepared to use it competently, 12 shots is over kill, literally. I’ve had to go hands on with a subject at 4 times the legal level, regardless of their training, they can never be as coordinated intoxicated as they are sober, yes, it takes more to injury, but that’s when time on the job actually kicks in. It seems this officer was too fast to judge. Training and knowledge seems to be something he is lacking. Inexperienced officers should never be alone, they should have officers, if he was off duty, the badge and gun stay home. They are not personal get out of jail free cards. This was over excessive and he should at a minimum, be held accountable for premeditated murder. If you draw, you know you’re going to use it. He knew, he should be punished to the maximum extent of the law and the family of the victim needs to be compensated.

    1. Knows Firearms says:

      “There are always levels of force, drawing your weapon is never the first unless there is presentation from the subject. I am an Army MP from Baltimore, I am also a female. I would not have drawn my weapon first. However, I also have combatives training, and tours of duty under my belt. I wouldve went hand to hand, if that didn’t work, and I was on duty, I’d call for back-up. If you have to draw your weapon, be prepared to use it competently, 12 shots is over kill.”

      Thank you. You make sense!! This is exactly the point I was trying to make. The LAST thing you do is pull your weapon. The exception being if one is pulled on you. Why??? Because if you pull it you are going to use it. 12 shots IS over kill. It shows NO judgement. I have been lucky never to have to pull my weapon when I was carrying. I highly recommend “In the gravest extreme” and “Stress Fire”.

      There is another issue about shooting that hasn’t been mentioned. Your back stop. If you miss where is your round going to end up?? This officer MISSED 5 times, luckily no one else was injured. The lack of real firearms training by the police is appalling and needs to be fixed.
      I was hoping for second degree but we didn’t get it.

    2. Concerned & greatful says:

      Finally a person with intelligence and for thought thank you for your service for our country and thank god for people like you ! ! !

  10. crawdog says:

    Just another example of a cop out of control. Just like a few years ago the pig downtown freekin out on a kid with a skate board. BCP are a abusive . Heprobably throw down too many dounuts earlier that day and wanted to burn it off. As far as the cops speeding and blowing off traffic signals, they do it constantly. One time I follwed a pig who blew a light and was speeding, I followed him 16 miles, he pulled in his driveway and walked right in the house. Pigs live by do as I say not what I do. Also they should ticket themselfs for not wearing their seatbelts, Take a look most don’t I guess above the law. Or what is the excuse for this, I’a sure they have some bull excuse. I loose more and more respect for them daily. I bet if the marine was armed with his 9mm would of put two in the chest and one in the head. obviously these cops can’t shoot well. Needs to go to firearms training. DON’T TRUST THE POLICE!!!!

  11. ricland says:

    This was a drunk cop with a weapon. You people who defend him seem to want to leave out the drunk part.

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