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BPD IDs veteran officer shot in the line of duty, alleged gunman charged

Posted at 8:56 AM, Jun 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 12:07:01-04

BALTIMORE — A 20-year Baltimore Police veteran was shot in the line of duty overnight Sunday.

It started when officers were called to the 2300 block of Winchester Street for a large party in a parking lot of an apartment complex.

Officers were on scene as early as 11:45 Saturday night dispersing crowds.

As the crowd began to leave the area just after 3 a.m, officers saw an SUV with a damaged tire pull into the parking lot at a high rate of speed.

At some point the officer engaged the driver, 30-year-old Christopher Earl, who was allegedly armed with a gun.

The suspect got into a struggle with the officer and a backup unit, resulting in one of the officers being shot in the torso.

Police identified the wounded officer as Brian Burke, who has also served in the National Guard for more than 20 years.

Despite being shot, police say Burke was still able to help take Earl into custody without causing injury to him.

Following the incident, Burke was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma and rushed into surgery.

Investigators found a handgun on the scene. Neither officer is believed to have fired their weapon, according to police.

Both were wearing body-worn-cameras at the time of the incident. Police say video footage will be downloaded and reviewed.

Earl is currently being held at the Central Booking and Intake Facility on attempted murder, assault, and gun charges.

In a statement, Council President Brandon Scott said:

"Early this morning, a police officer was shot as he and other officers were attempting to disperse a large party.

My prayers are with the officer and his family now that he is out of surgery and begins his road to recovery. He deserves our respect and gratitude, as do all our brave officers who continue to put their lives on the line each day to protect our residents and our communities amidst this pandemic.

Since the beginning of COVID-19, our officers have worked non-stop to ensure the safety of Baltimoreans. It is irresponsible and disappointing that people continue to put their own lives - and our entire community - at risk by having gatherings during a public health pandemic.

We as a city suffer from two public health crises, COVID-19 and gun violence. More than 10 people have been shot in Baltimore this weekend alone. In recent weeks, we have lost the lives of teenagers, seniors, and beloved members of the media. This should serve as a reminder to us all that we must focus on the individuals causing this pain while we also begin to build better communities.

It is more imperative than ever that we make responsible decisions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, especially as the state and the city continue to battle coronavirus, and enter the early phases of recovery.

I thank each and every law enforcement officer for the risks they take each day and the work they do on behalf of our community to make Baltimore safer."