By Michelle Richardson
Special to the AFRO

A Baltimore County man has been charged with the attempted murder of Baltimore Police Officer Brian Burke as the pair struggled the morning of June 14, in West Baltimore according to police. 

Christopher Earl, 30, of Windsor Mill, has been arrested and charged with several 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.

Two officers were on patrol near 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,” according to the charging documents.

(Photo Courtesy/ Baltimore Police Department)

According to the charging documents, officers approached Earl while he was still in the vehicle, spoke with him, and walked away. 

As the officers were walking away, Earl allegedly began arguing with a female in the parking lot who was seated in a different vehicle and began to approach her with a handgun. 

Officers did not say if Earl knew the female or what they were arguing about. 

“Officer Burke withdrew his service weapon as he approached the suspect,” stated the online charging documents. “Officer Burke along with Officer Pultro attempted to gain control of the suspect.”

During the struggle, Officer Burke was shot by the suspect once in the stomach. After that, 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 University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center for surgery and was listed in stable condition. He has not been discharged yet. 

Baltimore Police released a statement on Facebook that stated that both officers had body worn cameras turned on at the time and it has not been determined if either officer fired their service weapons. 

Commissioner Michael Harrison praised the officers for still being able to subdue the suspect, and take him into custody without injuries to the suspect. 

Earl faces attempted 1st degree murder, attempted 2nd degree murder, first and second degree assault, and a slew of handgun charged including firearm use in a violent crime, transporting a firearm in a vehicle, and discharging a handgun within city limits. 

Burke is the second city officer to be shot in the past month. Joshua “the rapping cop” Jackson was shot on May 26 in the Federal Hill neighborhood as he attempted to stop a suspect after he crashed into a parked car and tried to flee on foot. 

The shooting was one of two that stemmed from large gatherings in the city despite COVID-19 restrictions, which were still in place. 

There was no attorney listed for Earl in online court documents.