Families Of Officer, Civilian Fatally Shot At Nightclub Want Justice
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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.