RECENTLY FALLEN: Baltimore City (MD) Police Officer William H. Torbit, Jr.

Officer Torbit, Jr.

Baltimore City (MD) Police Officer William H. Torbit, Jr. was fatally shot by police gunfire on Sunday January 9, 2011. Dressed in plainclothes, Officer Torbit responded to a disturbance call at a night club on North Paca Street.

At approximately 1:15 am, Officer Torbit broke up a physical altercation with several females outside the club, when a group of men began attacking him. During the ensuing struggle, Officer Torbit drew his service weapon. Responding uniformed officers—unaware Officer Torbit was a police officer—shot and killed him.

 Officer Torbit, 33, was wearing his badge but had no other indicators that he was a law enforcement officer. Apparently, his badge was either not visible or ripped off during the violent conflict. Another man was shot and killed, and four other people, including a police officer, were injured during the struggle.  The officers who fired are on administrative leave.

Presently, four officers have been killed in 2011—one from Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas—in January 2011. Officer Torbit is the first law enforcement officer killed by accidental gunfire, and the third officer killed by a gunshot in the first month of the New Year.

One of nine children, officials and friends praised the “dedicated public servant” and “family man,” who spent eight years as a Baltimore City (MD) Police Officer.

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