Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— A murder-suicide leaves three families heartbroken. Details continue to emerge about the brutal killings in Anne Arundel County. The fire union, who worked closely with one of the victims, is giving a closer look at Andrew Hoffman.
Derek Valcourt has more reaction and the latest on the investigation.
A police officer was apparently having a difficult time coping with the fact that his ex-girlfriend was moving on with her life. She and her new boyfriend–a beloved firefighter– had just come home from a Halloween party when they were killed.
At the Engine 14 Firehouse on Hollins Street in Southwest Baltimore, the doors are draped with black bunting in tribute to 27-year-old firefighter Andrew Hoffman.
Hoffman and his new girlfriend, 26-year-old Marie Hartman, were gunned down inside his Glen Burnie home around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
Hartman’s younger sister hid in a closet and then escaped out a window.
Investigators say the killer was her ex-boyfriend — 37-year-old Baltimore City police officer Christopher Lee Robinson — who took his own life after the shooting.
Hartman, the mother of a 6-year-old, leaves behind a devastated family.
“We just want answers. We want to know why this happened,” said Pamela Chaney, Hartman’s mother.
Hoffman’s death hits especially hard for the city fire department, where he’s been hailed as a hero—awarded the Chief Thomas Burke Courage Medal in 2010 for rescuing a man in a fire on Gilmore Street.
Earlier this year, he was even interviewed by WJZ, recognized for his quick action earlier this summer in helping to save a 3-year-old boy who had wandered away from home.
“I just couldn’t believe my eyes,” Hoffman said in the July interview with WJZ. “He’s just a trooper walking down the road like he knows where he’s going.”
Friends say the third generation firefighter was heroic even in his final minutes.
“The night he was killed, he did all he could to protect his girlfriend and her sister, who survived the terrible ordeal. I think without Andy’s help that would have not been possible,” said Rick Hoffman, firefighters’ union president.
WJZ was there as his uncle collected some items from his home needed for funeral arrangements.
Andrew Hoffman’s father released a written statement on behalf of his family saying:”Our hearts are absolutely broken over the loss of our son, brother, grandson and uncle. It’s hard to imagine going forward without him, but we know Andy died a hero. That is the way he lived his life, and we couldn’t be prouder of him.”
A family member tells WJZ funeral plans for Hoffman are being set for Saturday. The fire department plans to be part of the service to honor their fallen friend.
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