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Man charged with attempted murder in shooting of Baltimore police officer Sunday

A Baltimore County man has been charged with the attempted murder of Baltimore Police Officer Brian Burke, as police say the man shot Burke in the stomach during a struggle Sunday in West Baltimore.

Christopher Earl, 30, of Windsor Mill, has been arrested and charged with a dozen crimes. According to charging documents, Earl and two officers wrestled over a handgun after the officers dispersed a large party in the Bridgeview/Greenlawn neighborhood.

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The officers were by the 2300 block of Winchester St. around 3:15 a.m. breaking up the party when Earl drove into a nearby parking lot in a silver Land Rover “at a high rate of speed with damage to the front wheel," Officer Raymond Yost wrote in the charging documents.

Yost wrote that officers approached Earl while he was still in the vehicle, spoke with him, then walked away.

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As officers were walking away, Yost wrote, Earl began arguing with a woman in the parking lot in a different vehicle and approached her armed with a handgun.

“Officer Burke withdrew his service weapon as he approached the suspect," Yost wrote. “Officer Burke along with Officer Pultro attempted to gain control of the suspect.”

The report did not include Pultro’s full name, but Baltimore salary records list an officer Joshua Pultro.

“During the struggle Officer Burke was shot by the suspect one time in the stomach,” charging documents state. “The officers were able to take the suspect to the ground and recover the suspect’s weapon.”

Charging documents state that a single .40-caliber shell casing from Earl’s Beretta handgun was found at the scene.

Burke was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center for surgery and was listed in stable condition. He remained there Monday.

Baltimore Police wrote on Facebook Sunday that both officers had body-worn cameras turned on during the incident and that it has not been determined if either of the two officers fired their service weapons. Nothing in charging documents suggests any officer fired their weapons, outside of Burke initially drawing his.

Christopher Earl, 30, of Windsor Mill, is charged with attempted murder as Baltimore police say he shot and struck an officer June 14, 2020.
Christopher Earl, 30, of Windsor Mill, is charged with attempted murder as Baltimore police say he shot and struck an officer June 14, 2020. (Baltimore Police Department/Baltimore Police Department)

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison praised the officers’ response, saying that “the two of them were still able to subdue this subject and take him into custody without injuring that suspect.”

In addition to attempted murder and assault charges, Earl faces two charges of having an illegal loaded handgun in his vehicle, according to online court records.

An attorney for Earl could not be reached Monday.

The shooting was one of two over the weekend that involved reports of mass gatherings in the city, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, five people were injured in a shooting in Fells Point. City Councilman Zeke Cohen said it took place after large crowds had been allowed to gather at Broadway Square.

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The wounded officer is also the second one shot in the past month; another Baltimore officer was injured in a shooting in Federal Hill on May 26. Police have charged 28-year-old Antonio Oliver Janifer with attempted murder, saying he fired at Officer Joshua Jackson after he crashed into a parked car and tried to flee on foot.

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