Dead Officer Was 44-Year City Veteran Thursday, April 24, 2008 http://wbal.com/stories/templates/news.aspx?articleid=5270&zoneid=2 An off-duty 65-year-old Baltimore police officer was shot and killed by another officer early Thursday morning after he left a southeast Baltimore club wearing brass knuckles during a brawl and drew a handgun, police said. Officer Norman Stamp didn't heed a command to halt by the uniformed officer, John Torres, who first used a Taser on the off-duty officer and then fired twice when Stamp drew his weapon, Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said at a news conference. The 44-year veteran was one of the department's longest-serving officers, the commissioner said. "Officer Stamp was a mentor to some and a friend to many," Bealefeld said. "This is an incredibly difficult time." Uniformed officers responded shortly after midnight to reports of a fight outside the Haven Place strip club in southeast Baltimore. Torres stationed himself by a door to prevent anyone else from joining the melee, and confronted Stamp when he emerged wearing brass knuckles, Bealefeld said. The jolt of electricity from the Taser caused Stamp to fall to the ground, Bealefeld said, at which point Stamp drew his handgun. After he was shot, Stamp was rushed to a trauma center, where he died around 1:30 a.m. Torres did not recognize Stamp, and there was not any indication Stamp identified himself as an officer, Bealefeld said. "He did what he was taught to do in these types of situations," Bealefeld said of the officer who fired at Stamp, adding later that the "first rule" when plainclothes officers encounter uniformed officers is to follow the commands of those in uniform. The brawl began after several young women entered the bar seeking employment, Bealefeld said. "Some people made comments about them and then the fight was on," Bealefeld said, adding that Stamp's role in the brawl had not been determined. Police spokesman Sterling Clifford said Stamp had spent most of his career in the department's motor unit and was later posted to the marine unit, which patrols the Inner Harbor. Clifford said he did not know the exact date, but noted it was during the administration of former commissioner Thomas C. Frazier, who served from 1994 to 1999. "He's been on the boat long enough that that's why Torres didn't recognize him because he just wouldn't have ever run into him," the police spokesman said. Torres, 26, who's been with the department since 2002, has been placed on administrative duty, police said. The commissioner said Wednesday marked Stamp's service anniversary, but he did not know if the officer was celebrating the anniversary. No other sworn officers were in the bar at the time, although a retired officer may have been, the commissioner said. "This is a tragedy," Mayor Sheila Dixon said. "I did this morning speak with Officer Stamp's wife to assure her that we will be there with her and her family." Stamp also leaves behind a daughter, said Paul M. Blair Jr., president of the city police union. Stamp is the seventh person shot and killed by Baltimore police this year, and there have been 10 police-involved shootings, Clifford said. Last year, officers shot 31 people, killing 13. In the past two months, two other police officers have been wounded by gunfire, and another officer was fired upon. The city has seen significant reductions in violent crime since Bealefeld became commissioner last summer. Baltimore is currently on pace for 185 homicides, which would be the lowest total in more than 20 years. Officer Stamp was a founding member of Chosen Sons Motorcycle Club. Just hours after the shooting, Chosen Sons members gathered at the Baltimore chapter headquarters located on Haven Street, just a few blocks up the street from where Officer Stamp was shot at the Haven Place bar. ---- If the on duty cops story is accurate sounds like a good shoot, you'd think after 44 years the off duty cop would know better.