Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– New details emerge in the chaotic January shooting outside of a downtown nightclub. Just days after releasing surveillance camera video of the shooting, city police release their lengthy investigative report on the incident.
Derek Valcourt reports.
This report gets into the nitty-gritty. Who fired how many shots. And it names names, dozens of witnesses and what they saw.
Surveillance cameras captured the frantic moments on a frigid January night when gunfire erupted outside of the Select Lounge nightclub on West Franklin Street.
According to this lengthy police investigative report obtained by our media partner “The Baltimore Sun”, 33-year-old Officer William Torbit Jr. was wearing plain clothes, with only a badge around his neck to identify him as a police officer, when he was punched in the face and beaten to the ground by a group of males. That’s when police say Torbit pulled out his own gun and began firing, shooting and killing one of his attackers, 22-year-old Sean Gamble.
But when four other officers nearby saw a Torbit in plain clothes on the ground shooting, they assumed he was a civilian and opened fire, hitting Torbit 20 times.
In all, 42 shots were discharged that night, all of them by police. Officer Torbit himself fired eight shots. Officer Harry Dodge fired 14, Officer Harry Pawley 11, Officer Latora Craig fired five shots and Officer Toyia Williams, four.
Last week, the city state’s attorney decided not to crimnally charge any of the officers involved.
“That they acted reasonably in the use of deadly force as police officers to protect themselves and other people in the area,” said Gregg Bernstein, the Baltimore city state’s attorney.
“Not frustrated,” said Nadine Williams-Holmes, a Gamble family friend. ”At this point, outrage and anger.”
Friends of Sean Gamble, and the sister of Officer Torbit tell WJZ, they’re upset with the decision not to prosecute the officers. And disturbed by this newly released report.
“Baltimore city, we’re not safe with officers like that and the training they had means absolutely nothing,” Williams-Holmes said. “Look what happened. They killed their own person.”
Criminal charges may not be filed, but the case is far from over. The mayor has ordered an independent review of case and civil lawsuits are likely perhaps as early as this week.
Police interviewed more than one hundred witnesses as part of their investigation.