Brown, an Iraqi war veteran, was only joking, his relatives said. But it quickly escalated into a shooting. Police commander say, however, they've found no evidence to indicate Tshamba's life was in danger when he pulled the trigger.
The officer has refused to give a breath test or make a statement, though his representative in the police union says a statement will be delivered soon. Still, the shooting raises all sorts of questions about off-duty officers who carry their weapons while out drinking and whether this dispute got out of hand.
Many more details about the officer, including a prior shooting, and about the victim, are on the Baltimore Sun's Internet site.