Feb. police shooting led to man's death Oct. 29

November 10, 2006|By GUS G. SENTEMENTES | GUS G. SENTEMENTES,Sun Reporter

A 39-year-old man shot by a Baltimore police officer earlier this year died last month, and the state medical examiner's office ruled yesterday that his death resulted from his shooting injuries, police said.

William J. Burch, who lived in the 3100 block of Strickland St. in Southwest Baltimore, was shot Feb. 11 by an officer who went to the house because of a 911 hangup call, police said.

Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman, said officers found the front door open, went inside and discovered Burch in the kitchen with a steak knife.

"They ordered him several times to drop the knife, he failed to comply and he lunged," Moses said. An officer shot him twice in the lower torso, he said.

Moses said the man suffered from schizophrenia and depression. He also said that the officer who shot him had, in a past encounter at the same house, obtained an emergency petition to have him evaluated.

Moses declined to identify the officer who shot Burch. He said the officer was still on the force.

Burch died Oct. 29 at the University of Maryland Medical Center, police said.

Mary Burch, the shooting victim's mother, said her son never intended to harm anyone, and that he would sometimes cut his arms when he became distraught.

"He never done anything to harm anybody, that's why I can't understand why he was shot," said Burch, 78, who lived a block from her son. "He was a good boy. Everybody around here still loves him."

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