Officer cleared by police in fatal shooting

November 11, 2006|By Gus G. Sentementes

The officer who fatally shot a mentally ill Southwest Baltimore man in February has been cleared of administrative wrongdoing in the incident, according to city police.

Officer Michael C. Guizzotti, 32, "fired his weapon because he felt his life was in danger," according to Matt Jablow, a Police Department spokesman. Investigations by internal affairs and homicide detectives cleared the officer of any wrongdoing, Jablow said. The victim died last month.

The nine-year veteran, an officer in the Southwestern District, was responding to a 911 hangup call on Feb. 11 at a home in the 3100 block of Strickland St. Officers encountered William J. Burch in his kitchen, who was holding a steak knife, police said. The man lunged, and Guizzotti shot him twice in the abdomen.

Prosecutors said they are conducting a separate criminal investigation.

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