BALTIMORE (WJZ)— There’s outrage and frustration by two families on opposite sides of a deadly police-involved shooting. Both want justice for their loved ones killed outside a Baltimore nightclub. Neither will get it in criminal court.

Adam May has new reaction to the incident.

Frantic moments were caught on surveillance cameras last January when friendly fire took the life of a city police officer outside the Select Lounge nightclub.

According to a detailed police investigative report just released, Officer William Torbit Jr., 33, was wearing plainclothes with only his badge around his neck to identify him as a police officer.

In the video, Torbit was punched in the face and beaten to the ground by a group of males. He then pulled out his own gun, fatally shooting one of his attackers – 22-year-old Sean Gamble. 

“Did that mean he should have been gunned down like he was nothing and left to die in the street,” said Nadine Williams-Holmes, Gamble family friend. “And the police officer was taken to the hospital, then members of Sean Gamble’s family were arrested because they were trying to give him aid or CPR, and he was left in the street to die.”

Friends of Gamble don’t believe he knew Torbit was an officer. The report says responding officers didn’t know either. They assumed Torbit was a civilian when they fatally shot him as well.

Including Torbit, police fired a total of 42 shots that night. Last week the City State’s Attorney decided not to pursue any criminal charges.

“They acted reasonably in the use of deadly force as police officers to protect themselves and other people in the area,” said State’s Attorney Greg Bernstein.

Officer Torbit’s sister, Sherri Torbit, is upset with that decision.

“How can they say nothing can be done about this?” she said.

Gamble’s family and friends agree.

“I’d like to know what is wrong with the prosecutor,” Williams-Holmes said. “Does he not understand that crimes took place here by the Baltimore City Police, and someone needs to be accountable?”

An independent review of case is still pending. That could result in changes to police policy. Civil lawsuits are also likely.

Police interviewed more than 100 witnesses as part of their investigation.

Comments (46)
  1. common sense says:

    Just pay these guys so they will go away…they all come out of the woodwork looking for a pay day.

    It’s a tragic event…no doubt. Baltimore loss an officer and the other officers must live with that guilt.

    But let’s be honest….if the people at the club acted normal (I know that’s hard for the citizens in Baltimore to do) then none of this would have happened.

    But instead of blaming the citizens which caused this it’s some how the police and City’s fault.

    Pay them to hopefully shut them up.

    1. There Is Only One Judge says:

      This is for all the people out hear talking junk. Just because a person acts out at a club or anywhere doesn’t mean he or she should be shot or killed. I only can image what would you be saying if it was your family. Somebody please tell me in witch police handbook does it say. Shoot in a crowd of people. It don’t take 42 bullets to kill one person. Instead they shot a couple people and killed one. Who was they protecting not the citizens of Baltimore. Do you really think it’s about the money. (NO) Somebody need to pay for this. Either the officers or there supervisor’s. what if someone pull out a gun at a party for a 5yrs. I have to wonder if the police would pull out a gun and start shooting or would they think about how many children are around. No one shouold be allowed to shoot a person or fire at a person 42 times unless he is holding people up or trying to set off a bomb off.

    2. SMART ONE says:


  2. Inspector Gadget says:

    The Prosecutor made the right call.

  3. Richard Perry says:

    a crime was comited by the people who beat the officer to theground

  4. FrankLee says:

    The prosecutor is a corrupt SOB protecting dirty, trigger happy cops. Encouraging their shoot first mentality will only lead to more unjustified shootings.

    1. Jeff says:

      The plain clothes cop shot Gamble becuase the plain clothes cop had been knocked to the ground and was being beaten by Gamble and a group of men. Naturally he feared for his life and shot Gamble. The uniformed cops see a guy in street clothes shoot someone and they open fire. The prosecutor’s not protecting anyone. It’s just an unfortunate sequence of events that started with Gamble and his thugs beating up a plain clothes cop on the ground. He’s responsible for the whole sequence of events. It’s safe to say that if Gamble and his goons hadn’t attacked the plain cloths cop and gang up on him, none of this would have happened.

  5. GINGER ROGERS says:

    trust me when i tell you the cops are on the take. crack profit, , or they would have it under contorl or controlled

  6. DAVE BAUAER says:

    in this situation i would sue, sue and sue, cops can they think at all

  7. Officer Willaims says:

    these police are not professionals, if they were this would not keep happening. the police in this city are taking money from the drug dealers, why else would drugs still be around,,, not that hard to figure out,

  8. Jill says:

    They can control seatbelt laws but not the drug dealers on the corner””’on the take””

  9. Dave says:

    what makes the county police different from the city????

  10. JIM says:

    the truth is the people who sell drugs succcessfully make way to much and can buy there way out of anything

  11. Roberta says:

    If the mayor can raise 1.4 milllion in currupt money , let these familes sue the living hell out of this city, the best way to learn is by being fined, well baltimore city you will pay$$$$$$$$

    1. kesha sjakira says:

      its time to make a peaceful protest to let these thugs know when they incite violence this kind of stuff will happen, it was just a bad day at the office for Baltimore PD, but they did nothing wrong
      this was a tragedy that went all wrong

      1. ROCKORD FILES says:

        NOT, HEY if the Baltimore city was not involved no one would have been shot. This ain’t normal, and if you think it is then we live in a third world country,BALTIMORE CITY POLICE ARE ON THE TAKE THUGS>>>SUE THE HELL OUT OF THE CITY< THE CITY NEEDS TO LEARN THEY WILL PAY FOR STUPID BEHAVIOR<MISTAKES THAT TAKE LIVES< AND B.C.P.D. ACCOUNTABLILTY

  12. markc says:

    So the lesson learned is that if the killing field is chaotic, shooting into the crowd is excused and now we learn, condoned by the authorities. This wasn’t a bad day for the police department, it was a bad day for the two killed by police. For BC police it was a good ruling. They no longer are accountable for the people they shoot or kill.


      i agree, baltimore city police have every drug corner in the city to be concerned about, not out clubing it up in plain clothes,,,,,,,SUE THE HELL OUT OF THE CITY<<<SUE<SUE SUE

  13. BIMMY says:

    when the police are shot they are fallen heros, well these civilans are just out on the town, enjoying life intil a wack job cop starts firing, empty his clip over a fist fight , the civilans are not going to be regonized as hero’s but they again will sue the last cent out of this city for having such dumb cops,,,,,,,real dumb cops

    1. Remarkable says:

      You are brilliant Bimmy – that kind of thinking will get you into the wonderful world of city politics – maybe you can be O’Malley’s chaffeur. Just so you know – Gamble attacked Torbit – maybe the officer should have just let Gamble and his goon friends beat him to death – would have at least saved a couple of bullets. Now you (if you’re in the city) can help pay the lawsuit with tax money out of your democratic pockets.

      1. baltimore resident says:

        what goon friends?? he was alone with his sister and now he had a group of goons attaacking the cop?? when did this come out?? maybe you should get a job with WJZ or the Sun as a reporter since you really know how to stretch the truth to sell news!!

  14. BECKY says:

    If your family member was shot by baltmore city police and killed you would want to be compensated too. city cops need to wake up, they will not get away with this behavior

  15. AMY says:

    When is Baltimore city Police going to take on real issues DRUG DEALING ON Every Street CORNER in the city, MURDER, GANGS, CRACK HOUSES, ….KEEP THE COPS AWAY FROM The NIGHT CLUBS in UNDER COVER

    1. Amy's campaign manager says:

      Good idea Amy – excellent as a matter of fact – this way, we can let all the Democrats in the clubs waiting for their entitlements shoot each other, and in this way, we’ll save money because we won’t have to give out any more entitlements! Good idea! You should run for city council – you would have no problem being re-elected and I bet Governor O’Malley would endorse you!

  16. Troy says:

    Baltimore city police , i wish you could concentrate on drugs, drug dealers, and leave the night clubs alone, they have private security.

  17. Mike says:

    Tell you loved ones to stop breaking the law, stop acting like thugs and animals on the street.
    If they were conducting themselves like respectable citizens that night and not creating a mass of chaos, then the shootings would never have occurred.
    THIS STORY IS NO LONGER NEWS, and these families need to stop beating a dead horse!!!
    The other citizens want justice also, and we are tired as hell at hearing about this story. It was news in January when it happened. It is over now decision made now STFU

    1. There Is Only One Judge says:

      @ Mike – I guess your whole family is perfect. How about you tell your love ones to stop breaking the law and stop acting like animals on the steeet. There isn’t a family in the world that is perfect and don’t make mistakes. I’m sure you have a child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or some other family member that haven’t done anything. Wake up people. Look at yourself in the mirror before you open up your mouth. You probably one of them people that live in the county and come in the city to buy your drugs.

  18. SGT Andrews B.C.P.D. says:

    kaos is one thing. killing is another, these cops do not know what the use of deadly force means. 42 rounds could of been 42 confirmed killed, this is unaceptable from baltimore city police,,, and now the city should pay the max$$$$$ why so it doesn’t happen again

  19. Mike says:

    Shame a SGT from BCPD can’t spell any betther than that
    chaos not kaos
    Now it makes more sense to me….if you aren’t completely literate you shouldn’t carry a gun

    1. baltimore resident says:

      it can be either way

  20. common sense says:

    Mike has Common Sense and I approve.

    To all you kids who are saying “Sue Baltimore” where do you think that money comes from? I know it’s hard for the city of Baltimore to understand since most dont pay taxes and many live off of their neighbor without feeling bad or condone the theivery that is Social Entittlment programs…..but the MONEY used to PAY OUT is TAX MONEY from the CITIZENS.

    I say pay them whatever they want. Close the City Pools for 10-15 years or however long it takes to pay the family. Close the Social Security lines down until they pay their debt. Stop paying so much Section 8 money and evict those family until this debt is paid.

    No use in taking the money from the needed programs. Take it from the leaches.

    1. Danny says:

      You really are an A-hole.

  21. Dennis says:

    B.C.P.D. can you just do your jobs, take the drug dealers off the street. Is this to much to ask. If you can not do the job B.C.P.D, then we need to look into private companys, ,everthing else has been subed out, why not the city police, they just can’t get it done, they are on the take, and currupt

  22. Larry says:

    Just Sue the hell out of baltimore city. stupid mistakes you will pay for DEARLY

  23. ASHELY says:

    baltimore city police how many drug bust do you make anight. it should be like a turkey shoot. think about it, they are not arresting the drug dealers, crack houses, so i know they are getting a cut . what else could it be


    I know inside my police district there are police on the take, i will let the public know as much

  25. ANTHONY says:

    blow the whistle on these thug cops, the city is so drug infested beacuse of these greedy police

  26. andy botwin says:

    Anthony your absolutly right! Baltimore city cops are among the most corrupt law enforcement agencies in the country, If a hurricane hit baltimore city like Katrina , we would have ten times the amount of citizens killed as new orleans saw., and it wouldn’t be from drowning.

  27. Only justice says:

    Justice – that’s all anyone wants – but I don’t hear anyone saying how it was wrong for Mr. Gamble to hit Mr. Torbit and then having his buddies jump into the fray – what about that part of it which gave Officer Torbit reason to pull his weapon? If you don’t act stupid, stupid things won’t happen.

  28. Squaregrouper says:

    I am sorry that Mr Gamble lost his life, but when you partake in a group “beat down” you run the risk that the victim is armed and will retaliate. If I was in that situation, I would have shot the “gang bangers” as well. Too bad the cop was killed. He appears to be the only TRUE victim in this case. Why were the responding officers not informed there was an undercover cop working the scene?

  29. Crazy says:

    The city police department has a serious flaw in plain clothes policy. Torbit was in the operations unit of the Central District. There is no reason whatsoever for operations guys to EVER be in plain clothes because they are not doing undercover work. To be honest, I’m surprised he’s been the only fatality so far out of that unit. Commissioner, you need to put those operations guys back in uniforms.

  30. truth is says:

    The bottom line is two people lost their life @the hands of gamble n his crew.yes will officer torbit is guilty of tryn to get grown people to act like adults n stead of animals.gambles sister n the other females that started this whole mess should b charge with somthing lets charge them with stupied two families lost n yes im team will n im sure gambles family n friends miss him just as we do officer torbiy but it was a chain reaction n for every action theres a reaction so again team gamble u guys did this u killed will n sean sorry to say had u guys just left n stead of swinging. On him everybody would b happy today n yes money dies not take the place of pain sean hit a officer n his friends join n sue for what team sean being dum officer torbit shot multiple tymes for doing his job n protectiing hisself sue sue sue sue b c p n the central district…

    1. Common Sense says:

      Everybody is blaming the police when in reality a group of people started this act of violence. The police did what they had to do because they seen someone firing and they took action. They must protect themselves as you would do yourself if you were in danger. Everybody wants to blame somebody and I agree that this is a quick pay day for the parties involved because if anybody has paid attention the video you can clearly see that 2 of the ladies who were shot were also involved in the beating of the officer. I can guarantee that half of the people on here speaking of ignorance are the same people who don’t mind Baltimore City being the way that it is and that’s why Baltimore City will never change.

  31. truth is says:

    Sorry about typo’s

    1. Wow says:

      Sorry doesn’t even begin to cover it – and that’s the truth.

  32. markc says:

    It didn’t take Bernstein long to fall in line. What do you think would have happened if civilians had opened fire like this to protect themselves? Torbit was expendable to the police. Were the 911 tapes and police communication tapes released? Or is it only a video? I find it amazing that Torbit would have responded without callling in to lt them know he was on the scene.

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