Two officers shot, one killed, outside downtown club
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UPDATE 11:45 p.m. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said police do not expect to provide more information today on the Sunday morning shooting. He said detectives will be gathering surveillance camera footage and reviewing physical evidence.
He said the three civilians who were shot and wounded were all women in the early 20s, who were shot in their lower extremities.
UPDATE: 10:10 a.m. Sources are identifying the officer killed this morning as William H. Torbit Jr., 33, who was assigned to the Central District operations unit. On Twitter and Facebook, friends are mourning the civilian victim, Sean "Loz" Gamble. Police are not confirming either victim's identity.
A friend, Corey Brown said Gamble had a young child and was engaged to be married. He worked for a waste management company and had no criminal record.
"He's not a violent kid - he's not in the streets," said Brown. "He's not even cut from that cloth. Apparently he got in a fight, and the cops start shooting. Not in the air - in the crowd, and they shot him."
Attempts to locate friends and family of Torbit were not immediately successful.
UPDATE: 6:45 a.m. Two Baltimore police officers were shot, one of them fatally, when gunfire erupted early Sunday outside of a club near downtown. Six people in all were shot and two killed.
Two sources said detectives are exploring whether the officer who was killed was shot by another officer amid a chaotic scene outside the Select Lounge in the 400 block of N. Paca St.
The incident occurred at about 1:15 a.m. when police were called to break up fights and control a crowd outside the club near Franklin Street in Seton Hill, said Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.
"There was an altercation that took place very near the club and some officers worked to intercede in that fight, at which time some gunshots were discharged," Bealefeld said. "Several officers fired multiple shots."The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was in the early stages, said the officer who was fatally shot was in plainclothes and was being attacked by a group of people moments before the gunfire rang out.
An eight-year veteran of the force whose name was not disclosed was shot and killed, Bealefeld said. A second officer, an 11-year veteran, was shot in the foot. Both officers were assigned to the Central District and were on duty, police said. One was in uniform and the other was in plainclothes, police said.
Police did not provide information about the civilian victims, and could not say what prompted the officers to fire their weapons or whether anyone other than the officers fired a gun.
"We're a few hours into this whole ordeal, and we have scores of detectives working on the case, processing evidence, interviewing witnesses," Bealefeld said. "We have a ton of work to do to put together the facts of what happened."
At the scene, police tape still blocked off a parking lot adjacent to Select Lounge. A "VIP Parking" placard remained in the street, and the parking lot was full.
A number of downtown clubs have been plagued by violence in recent years, with officials pushing to padlock or revoke the licenses of two prominent nightspots. Select Lounge opened just two months ago, with its web site still saying that it is "coming soon." Midnight Sun reviewed the club in November, and Ravens player Dannell Ellerbe chose the club to celebrate his birthday in December.
One police official said dozens of people had been transported to the homicide unit for interviews, and on the police scanner an officer called for an escort to take one of the victims from Shock Trauma to police headquarters.
"What we need to figure out is what sparked the shooting," said Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman. "Was there a weapon drawn by a civilian? Was the officer's weapon taken? We've got to put together a timeline and figure out what happened."
The web site Investigative Voice reported that an off-duty officer had fired a weapon to subdue a possibly armed person and that a second off-duty officer opened fire in response. Bealefeld said he had "no information on anything like that," though he said his priority was on comforting the slain officer's family and he had only basic information.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the shooting an "absolutely horrible incident." Three officers were killed in a span of a few weeks in October, and an officer was shot and wounded outside a downtown club in November.
Police did not identify the civilian victims, but on Twitter, friends of one of the victims were talking about his death, identifying him as Sean Gamble. Police said they could not confirm his identity.
On the site, Select Lounge bills itself as catering to a "professional, upscale crowd" and the "premiere destination for sophisticated club connoisseurs, savvy socialites, A-list celebrities and the Baltimore's [sic] elite." It boasts of a private VIP lounge for "the ultimate in discreet experiences." One officer told The Sun that the club had not drawn disproportionate police attention since its opening.
Click here for a stream of Twitter messages about the club and the shooting.
4:34 a.m. Two police officers are among six people shot and wounded outside a downtown Baltimore club, and one of the officers has died, police say.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III was at Maryland Shock Trauma Center meeting with the officers' families. Guglielmi said the officers were on-duty at the time.
Details were not immediately clear. Guglielmi said the shooting occurred outside Club Select at Paca and N. Franklin St. a few blocks north of Lexington Market.
This blog post will be updated as more information becomes available. Also follow justin_fenton on Twitter for updates from the hospital.