BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time, Baltimore police release video of a plainclothes officer being gunned down by fellow police.  The mayor has ordered an independent panel to investigate the shooting.  Kai Jackson has a first look at the chaos caught on camera.

Multiple things are happening in the video where Officer William Torbit and civilian Sean Gamble die.  The question is whose interpretation of the events will be the definitive explanation.

City crime cameras captured the chaos outside the Select Lounge on January 9.  Baltimore police say Officer William Torbit responded to a distress call from another officer working security at the west Baltimore nightclub.

“I’m optimistic that we’ll able to provide a full review,” said Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld.

What followed is a tragic series of events.  Police say on the video, you can see 22-year-old Sean Gamble throwing punches.  Police say Torbit, on duty but in plainclothes, shot and killed Gamble after Gamble hit him.  After Torbit shot Gamble, police say officers—unaware Torbit was a cop—shot him some 21 times.  He later died.

After a lengthy investigation, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein decided not to file charges against the officers who killed Torbit.

“We have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to warrant criminal prosecution of any of the officers who discharged their weapons,” Bernstein said.

That decision didn’t sit well with Torbit’s family.

“That one officer was doing his job,” said Torbit’s sister, Sherri Torbit. “How do you not recognize a fellow officer?”

“Now that the prosecutor has made his decision, [we’re having an independent panel] review this,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The mayor’s panel will review police practices involving force, crowd control and firearms training.

Comments (21)
  1. T J says:

    This is the reason drugs are so rampid in Baltimore city. I’am a United States Marine Combat veteran returning to my home town. I applied to be a Baltimore City Police Informant and was turned down because of my race. forget that I’am doing it for free, the danger comes with the terriorty, just getting Drug dealers off the street would be rewarding enough, anyone who is tired of crime, drugs, murders please comment, or give advice,,,,,

  2. Dee says:

    This is horrible. They should be prosecuted because you DON’T NEED TO SHOOT 21 times to deal with a situation. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE…. 21 times and they are just going to let these officers go

    1. johnny says:

      3- 4 officers can fire 35 total shots in about 5-6 seconds. You shoot until the threat is eliminated. They didn’t know he was a cop. They just saw him shoot Gamble and opened fire. 5-6 seconds later (or less) it was all over. Horrible trajedy.

      1. LEP71 says:

        They didn’t know he was a cop —– Ignorance is no justification!

  3. PARKVILLE says:

    the city streets in some area’s are like a war zone, if you don’t work them keep your mouth shut. police take there own life ever time they work, and because the courts are failing to with hold the law. police do more then there share for a lousy check,,,,sombody has to do it,

  4. Mike says:

    Why give a police officer a gun and then when they are presented with a situation such as this….two men fighting and one uses his gun on the other…you don’t expect the responding officers to use the tools they are given to do their jobs.
    IF the people of Baltimore City would stop acting like thugs (July 4th is a great example), then they would not be treated as such.
    Learn how to act in public and a lot of your problems will go away. Until such time that you learn how to act respectfully than deal with the consequences.
    By the way…the Mayor should have more important things to worry about than an officer that was shot in the line of duty.

    1. DAVE says:

      lets givem napalm

  5. Sherrelle says:

    This is all bs!even with a percent him being mistaken as a reg person,21times tho….bogus.thT officer was my cousin dammit.and right is right and wrong is wrong.Sean didnt deserve to die either,things jus got out of hand.but God has the final say & those fellow officers need to be punished,StephanieBlake needs to get out,this is all unjust and the whole city of baltimore will be sued one way or another bcaz its all a cover up.police are train to kill when u learn how to shoot to take suspect down without trying to kill.them officers will rot in hell.

    1. Hindsight says:

      Sherrelle – I am sorry about your cousin – but I am not sure what you are trying to say, your comment isn’t very well written. I do agree that 21 shots are REALLY excessive, but I haven’t seen the video – perhaps he was going for his id and they thought he was going to shoot them? Don’t know. But are you saying that officers are trained to take a suspect down without killing them?? That doesn’t agree with what your cousin did – he shot and killed Mr. Gamble… How is it right for one and not the other? I think your cousin was wrong, but I don’t think he deserved to be shot 21 times either. I think the officers do deserve some punishment and some re-training, but unfortunately none of that will bring back either person and I don’t think it is worth suing – the officers did the best they could with the information they had at the time. Hindsight is always 20/20!!

      1. GOVANS/WOODBOURNE says:

        i would of shot him a 101 times, so what you try doing the job with these animals

  6. MIKE says:

    don’t care really do not care

  7. says:

    when you act like a rabid annimal you die like one, who cares this ain’t news who care

  8. ain't it grand says:

    do guns kill or does the media over kill,,,,,,,,,,

  9. MEDIA OVER KILL says:

    just call in a few airstrikes into the city, give the media somthing. TO TALK ABOUT IT

  10. chubrock says:

    I know a couple of the cops involved in this. Niether one would shoot someone just to do it. When you hear a gun shot then turn and see a person shot and the other person holding the gun and still moving around like they are going to shot someone else. You have to make a split second decision to take that person out before someone else gets shot. The officers were doing thier job. They didn’t know there was a plain close officer involved and didn’t have time to stand around asking questions (like are you a cop?). No they had to react. Sorry officer Torbit was killed, it is a terrible loss to his family and the city police department. And there was another officer was shot in the foot. Sorry Mr. Gamble got what he got for hitting a cop, he wasn’t innocent like they were trying to make him out to be. Watch the video and you can see that. But these cops didn’t murder or assasinate officer Torbit either. These cops will be haunted by this the rest of thier lives and may never be able to do thier jobs right again because of this. Its a shame what happen, but trying to prosecute someone for doing thier job is crazy. And then everyone say sue sue sue, get off of it, his family will get death benefits for this. No amount of money will bring him back. These officers know when they take this job that they put thier lives on the line and anything can happen that will take thier life in this type of job. I feel for everyone that was involved in this.

  11. ttrexxx says:

    i can understand their mistake, but 21 times… sounds like target practice

  12. Michael says:

    I have absolutely no sympathy for Torbit b/c he shot & killed the guy for “hitting him”. Is a cop justified in shooting-to-death a person because they were hit by him/her? Of course not! So, in my opinion, God exacted an immediate punishment.

  13. Chris says:

    will all of you idiots learn to spell and use proper grammar before you comment. nobody is taking you seriously when you can’t type a coherent thought

  14. Mike says:


    Don’t forget to capitilize the first letter of the first word of each of your sentences.
    You look like an idiot also!!

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