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‘He had no enemies’: Glen Burnie family mourns death of 27-year-old homicide victim

Fillmore James Burriss, 27, was gunned down in Glen Burnie Saturday night by a group of assailants, Anne Arundel County police said. Burriss is pictured here with his fiance Carly Anderson and their daughter Kaydince.
Fillmore James Burriss, 27, was gunned down in Glen Burnie Saturday night by a group of assailants, Anne Arundel County police said. Burriss is pictured here with his fiance Carly Anderson and their daughter Kaydince. (Courtesy of Carly Anderson)

During one of the last hours of his life Saturday night, Fillmore James Burriss stood up on a picnic table at a Glen Burnie beach bar and sang happy birthday to his aunt “like Marilyn Monroe." She said he was a big, burly goofball all the way to the end.

The annual birthday party ended around 10 p.m. Saturday and was supposed to precede a bonfire at a cousin’s house around the corner from Burriss’ home on Kent Road, his aunt Robin Lourcey said. But the 27-year-old and another family member clashed. It was an ordinary argument, she said, “boys are boys.” They were ready to call it a night.

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Anne Arundel County police said the family fight ended extraordinarily after three assailants approached. Police said another argument ensued and Burriss was shot in the upper torso. Lourcey held him as he took his last breath. He was gone by the time officers arrived around 10:45 p.m. So too, police said, were three male suspects. They fled on foot.

Family members kept details about his last moments close, citing the potential for jeopardizing the homicide investigation. Police said Monday afternoon they were interviewing witnesses, but could offer no more specifics.

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Burriss' death leaves a big hole in his family’s hearts, they said, and not just because he was a hulking figure at 6 feet, 3 inches tall and approximately 250 pounds.

They said he was a beloved fiance, father and family-first man whose outgoing personality made him the life of every party.

“He was so loving. He was very caring. He would give you the shirt off his back. He was so loved; he had no enemies," said Burriss' mother, Donna Burriss. If he saw someone frowning, "he would make sure you were smiling within two minutes of that.”

Burriss was raised in Glen Burnie from the second grade onward, Donna Burriss said. He was one of four boys and part of a large extended family that grew up together. Lourcey and Donna Burriss consider themselves second mothers of each other’s children. They said their boys called each other brothers.

From time to time they’d butt heads, but Lourcey said nobody ever stayed mad for more than 10 minutes. You could count on brothers hugging it out.

Donna Burriss said her youngest attended Glendale Elementary, Marley Middle and Glen Burnie High. He was last a student at Evening High School in December of 2009, an Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman said. Donna Burriss said her son dropped out so that he could make money, but his fiance says he kept in close contact with his high school friends.

Carly Anderson, 26, met him through mutual friends in December 2011 while she was on winter break. It took about a week of getting to know each other, and then she said they never looked back. She was attracted to his personality. It clicked with hers. They’d play video games and watch movies and laugh and laugh and laugh. “We just vibed on that level. I never met anyone like that.”

She moved in with his family after dating for six months. Three years later, Anderson said, he wanted to be a dad. She gave birth to Kaydince, now 4. Being a father came naturally to him because he’d always looked after his nieces and nephews. As a family, they went on weekend trips to swim in the Patapsco River and to go camping in the mountains. That’s where Burriss rode his beloved 4-wheeler.

In 2014, his family said he found work at a roofing company. He worked hard for his family. Anderson said they’d purchased a trailer in Brooklyn Park but moved back to the Burriss residence to raise their daughter. She started pre-K this fall and Anderson said he couldn’t wait to take her to school. The trauma is fresh, but it’s unconscionable to think her daughter will grow up without Dad.

“All she knows is her daddy is up in heaven," Anderson said. "She said he’s over the rainbow bridge and he’s coming back down to see her as a red butterfly.”

The rest of the family is also struggling to process what happened and why. They wonder how a family gathering devolved into a crime scene.

Police said crime scene technicians collected physical and digital evidence from the place Burriss was killed on Delaware Avenue. His body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy, the results of which are pending.

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Homicide detectives are investigating and the police department urges anyone with information to contact the investigators at 410-222-4731. If someone with information wishes to remain anonymous, they can dial 410-222-4700 to reach the county’s Tip Line.

In the meantime, Lourcey said the family just wants peace.

"God put us here to take care of each other, not to fight and kill.”

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